Transamerica Funds
Statement of Additional Information
March 1, 2023, as amended and restated on June 16, 2023
Fund
Class R
Ticker
Class R4
Ticker
Class I3
Ticker
Transamerica Asset Allocation Intermediate Horizon
TAARX
TAAFX
-
Transamerica Asset Allocation Long Horizon
TALRX
TALFX
-
Transamerica Asset Allocation Short Horizon
TSHRX
TSHFX
-
Transamerica Balanced II
TBLRX
TBLFX
TBLTX
Transamerica Bond
TAADX
-
-
Transamerica Capital Growth
TAAEX
-
-
Transamerica Core Bond (formerly, Transamerica Intermediate Bond)
TMBRX
TMBFX
TMBTX
Transamerica Emerging Markets Opportunities
TEORX
TEOPX
-
Transamerica Government Money Market1
-
TFGXX
TGTXX
Transamerica High Yield Bond
TAHRX
TAHFX
TAHTX
Transamerica High Yield ESG
TANKX
TAYNX
-
Transamerica Inflation-Protected Securities
TPRRX
TPRFX
TPRTX
Transamerica International Equity
TRWRX
TRWFX
TRWTX
Transamerica International Focus
TIGSX
TIGFX
-
Transamerica Large Core ESG (formerly, Transamerica Large Core)
TLARX
TLAFX
TLATX
Transamerica Large Growth
TGWRX
TGWFX
TGWTX
Transamerica Large Value Opportunities
TLORX
TLOFX
TLOTX
Transamerica Mid Cap Growth
TMIRX
TMIFX
TMITX
Transamerica Mid Cap Value Opportunities
TOTRX
TOTFX
TOTTX
Transamerica Multi-Managed Balanced
TAAHX
-
-
Transamerica Short-Term Bond
TAASX
TAAUX
TAAQX
Transamerica Small Cap Growth
TSPRX
TSPFX
TSPTX
Transamerica Small Cap Value
TRSLX
TSLFX
TSLTX
Transamerica Sustainable Bond
TAUKX
TAZOX
-
1Class R2: TGRXX
Each of the funds listed above is a series of Transamerica Funds. Each fund with “–” listed for a share class above indicates that share class is not currently offered by the fund.This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus, and should be read in conjunction with the funds’ prospectus dated March 1, 2023, as it may be supplemented or revised from time to time.
This SAI is incorporated by reference in its entirety into the prospectus. The prospectus and this SAI may be obtained free of charge by writing or calling the funds at the below address or toll-free telephone number. This SAI sets forth information that may be of interest to shareholders, but that is not necessarily included in the prospectus. Additional information about the funds’ investments is available in the funds’ Annual and Semi-Annual Reports to shareholders, which may be obtained free of charge by writing or calling the funds at the below address or telephone number.
The Annual Reports contain financial statements that are incorporated herein by reference.
Investment Manager: Transamerica Asset Management, Inc.
1801 California Street, Suite 5200
Denver, CO 80202
Customer Service (888) 233-4339 (toll free)

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General Description of the Trust and the Funds
Transamerica Funds (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company that is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Shares of the Trust are currently divided into separate series (each a “fund” or together, the “funds”) described herein. Each fund offers one or more classes. The Trust may create additional series and classes from time to time.
The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on February 25, 2005. Prior to March 1, 2008, the Trust’s name was Transamerica IDEX Mutual Funds. The Trust is the successor to a Massachusetts business trust named Transamerica IDEX Mutual Funds.
Each fund is classified as diversified under the 1940 Act.
Transamerica Asset Management, Inc. (“TAM” or the “Investment Manager”) is the investment manager for each fund.
During the last five years, the names of certain funds have changed as follows:
Fund Name
Fund Name History
Transamerica Asset Allocation Intermediate Horizon
N/A
Transamerica Asset Allocation Long Horizon
N/A
Transamerica Asset Allocation Short Horizon
N/A
Transamerica Balanced II
N/A
Transamerica Bond
Transamerica Flexible Income was renamed Transamerica Bond on July 2, 2018.
Transamerica Capital Growth
N/A
Transamerica Core Bond
Transamerica Intermediate Bond was renamed Transamerica Core Bond
on November 1, 2022.
Transamerica Emerging Markets Opportunities
N/A
Transamerica Government Money Market
N/A
Transamerica High Yield Bond
N/A
Transamerica High Yield ESG1
N/A
Transamerica Inflation-Protected Securities
N/A
Transamerica International Equity
N/A
Transamerica International Focus
Transamerica International Growth was renamed Transamerica International
Focus on November 1, 2021.
Transamerica Large Core ESG
Transamerica Large Core was renamed Transamerica Large Core ESG on March 1,
2023.
Transamerica Large Growth
N/A
Transamerica Large Value Opportunities
N/A
Transamerica Mid Cap Growth
N/A
Transamerica Mid Cap Value Opportunities
N/A
Transamerica Multi-Managed Balanced
N/A
Transamerica Short-Term Bond
N/A
Transamerica Small Cap Growth
N/A
Transamerica Small Cap Value
N/A
Transamerica Sustainable Bond1
N/A
The footnote reference below is intended for use as relevant to each applicable table included in this SAI:
1
Transamerica High Yield ESG and Transamerica Sustainable Bond commenced operations on July 31, 2020, and as such, there is no historical information for the funds for fiscal years ended prior to that date.
Investment Objectives, Policies, Practices and Associated Risk Factors
The investment objective of each fund and the strategies each fund employs to achieve its objective are described in each fund’s prospectus. There can be no assurance that a fund will achieve its objective.
As indicated in each prospectus in the sections entitled “More on Each Fund’s Strategies and Investments” and “Features and Policies - Additional Information,” each fund’s investment objective and, unless otherwise noted in the prospectus or in this SAI, its investment policies and techniques may be changed by the funds’ Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without approval of shareholders. A change in the investment objective or policies of a fund may result in the fund having an investment objective or policies different from those which a shareholder deemed appropriate at the time of investment.
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Investment Policies
Fundamental Investment Policies
Fundamental investment policies of each fund may not be changed without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the fund, defined under the 1940 Act as the lesser of (a) 67% or more of the voting securities of the fund present at a shareholder meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the fund are present or represented by proxy, or (b) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the fund.
Each fund has adopted the following fundamental policies:
1. Borrowing
The fund may not borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction.
2. Underwriting Securities
The fund may not engage in the business of underwriting the securities of other issuers except as permitted by the 1940 Act.
3. Making Loans
The fund may make loans only as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time.
4. Senior Securities
The fund may not issue any senior security, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted from time to time by regulatory authority having jurisdiction.
5. Real Estate
The fund may not purchase or sell real estate except as permitted by the 1940 Act.
6. Commodities
The fund may not purchase physical commodities or contracts relating to physical commodities, except as permitted from time to time under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction.
7. Concentration of Investments
The fund may not make any investment if, as a result, the fund’s investments will be concentrated in any one industry, as the relevant terms are used in the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time.
Solely for purposes of the above fundamental investment policies, the “1940 Act” shall mean the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the rules and regulations thereunder, all as amended from time to time, or other successor law governing the regulation of investment companies, or interpretations or modifications thereof by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), SEC staff or other authority, or exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.
Additional Information about Fundamental Investment Policies
The following provides additional information about each fund’s fundamental investment policies. This information does not form part of the funds’ fundamental investment policies.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to borrowing money set forth in (1) above, the 1940 Act permits a fund to borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose, and to borrow up to 5% of the fund’s total assets from banks or other lenders for temporary purposes (the fund’s total assets include the amounts being borrowed). To limit the risks attendant to borrowing, the 1940 Act requires the fund to maintain at all times an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the fund’s total assets (including amounts borrowed), minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. In accordance with Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, when a fund engages in reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, the fund may either (i) maintain asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to such transactions and any other borrowings in the aggregate, or (ii) treat such transactions as “derivative transactions” under Rule 18f-4 and comply with Rule 18f-4 with respect to such transactions.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to underwriting set forth in (2) above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from engaging in the underwriting business or from underwriting the securities of other issuers; in fact, the 1940 Act permits a fund to have underwriting commitments of up to 25% of its assets under certain circumstances. Those circumstances currently are that the amount of the fund’s underwriting commitments, when added to the value of the fund’s investments in issuers where the fund owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of those issuers, cannot exceed the 25% cap. A fund engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities may be considered to be an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Under the 1933 Act, an underwriter may be liable for material omissions or misstatements in an issuer’s registration statement or prospectus. Securities purchased from an issuer and not registered for sale under the 1933 Act are considered restricted securities. If these securities are
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registered under the 1933 Act, they may then be eligible for sale but participating in the sale may subject the seller to underwriter liability. Although it is not believed that the application of the 1933 Act provisions described above would cause a fund to be engaged in the business of underwriting, the policy in (2) above will be interpreted not to prevent the fund from engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities, regardless of whether the fund may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to lending set forth in (3) above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from making loans; however, SEC staff interpretations currently prohibit funds from lending more than one-third of their total assets. Each fund will be permitted by this policy to make loans of money, including to other funds, portfolio securities or other assets. Each fund has obtained exemptive relief from the SEC to make short term loans to other Transamerica funds through a credit facility in order to satisfy redemption requests or to cover unanticipated cash shortfalls; as discussed below under “Additional Information - Interfund Lending”. The conditions of the SEC exemptive order permitting interfund lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund lending, however no lending activity is without risk.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to issuing senior securities set forth in (4) above, “senior securities” are defined as fund obligations that have a priority over the fund’s shares with respect to the payment of dividends or the distribution of fund assets. The 1940 Act prohibits a fund from issuing senior securities, except that the fund may borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose. A fund also may borrow up to 5% of the fund’s total assets from banks or other lenders for temporary purposes, and these borrowings are not considered senior securities. The issuance of senior securities by a fund can increase the speculative character of the fund’s outstanding shares through leveraging.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to real estate set forth in (5) above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from owning real estate; however, a fund is limited in the amount of illiquid assets it may purchase. To the extent that investments in real estate are considered illiquid, rules under the 1940 Act generally limit a fund’s purchases of illiquid investments to 15% of net assets. The policy in (5) above will be interpreted not to prevent a fund from investing in real estate-related companies, companies whose businesses consist in whole or in part of investing in real estate, mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) instruments (like mortgages) that are secured by real estate or interests therein, or real estate investment trust securities. Investing in real estate may involve risks, including that real estate is generally considered illiquid and may be difficult to value and sell. In addition, owners of real estate may be subject to various liabilities, including environmental liabilities.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to commodities set forth in (6) above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from owning commodities, whether physical commodities and contracts related to physical commodities (such as oil or grains and related futures contracts), or financial commodities and contracts related to financial commodities (such as currencies and, possibly, currency futures). However, a fund is limited in the amount of illiquid assets it may purchase. To the extent that investments in commodities are considered illiquid, rules under the 1940 Act generally limit a fund’s purchases of illiquid investments to 15% of net assets.
With respect to the fundamental policy relating to concentration set forth in (7) above, the 1940 Act does not define what constitutes “concentration” in an industry. The SEC staff has taken the position that investment of 25% or more of a fund’s total assets in one or more issuers conducting their principal activities in the same industry or group of industries constitutes concentration. It is possible that interpretations of concentration could change in the future. The policy in (7) above will be interpreted to refer to concentration as that term may be interpreted from time to time. The policy also will be interpreted to permit investment without limit in the following: securities of the U.S. government and its agencies or instrumentalities; tax-exempt securities of state, territory, possession or municipal governments and their authorities, agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions (excluding private activity municipal securities backed principally by non-governmental issuers); and repurchase agreements collateralized by any such obligations. Accordingly, issuers of the foregoing securities will not be considered to be members of any industry. There also will be no limit on investment in issuers based solely on their domicile in a single jurisdiction or country as an issuer’s domicile will not be considered an industry for purposes of the policy. A type of investment (e.g., equity securities, fixed-income securities, investment companies, etc.) will not be considered to be an industry under the policy. The policy also will be interpreted to give broad authority to a fund as to how to reasonably classify issuers within or among industries. For purposes of determining compliance with its concentration policy, each fund will consider the holdings of any underlying Transamerica-sponsored mutual funds in which the fund invests. The funds intend to comply with the SEC staff’s view that securities issued by a foreign government constitute a single industry for purposes of calculating applicable limits on concentration.
The funds’ fundamental policies are written and will be interpreted broadly. For example, the policies will be interpreted to refer to the 1940 Act and the related rules as they are in effect from time to time, and to interpretations and modifications of or relating to the 1940 Act by the SEC, its staff and others as they are given from time to time. When a policy provides that an investment practice may be conducted as permitted by the 1940 Act, the practice will be considered to be permitted if either the 1940 Act permits the practice or the 1940 Act does not prohibit the practice.
Except for the fundamental policy on borrowing set forth in (1) above, if any percentage restriction described above is complied with at the time of an investment, a later increase or decrease in the percentage resulting from a change in values or assets will not constitute a violation of such restriction.
The investment practices described above involve risks. Please see your fund’s prospectus(es) and this SAI for a description of certain of these risks.
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Non-Fundamental Policies
The funds have adopted the following non-fundamental policies, which may be changed by the Board of the Trust without shareholder approval.
1.
Illiquid investments (all funds)
No fund may purchase any investment if, as a result, more than 15% of its net assets (5% of total assets with respect to Transamerica Government Money Market) would be invested in illiquid investments.
2.
Purchasing securities on margin (all funds)
No fund may purchase securities on margin except to obtain such short-term credits as are necessary for the clearance of transactions, provided that margin payments and other deposits made in connection with transactions in options, futures contracts, swaps, forward contracts and other derivative instruments shall not constitute purchasing securities on margin.
3.
Underlying funds in funds-of-funds investment limitation (applicable funds: all funds except Transamerica Asset Allocation Intermediate Horizon, Transamerica Asset Allocation Long Horizon and Transamerica Asset Allocation Short Horizon)
No fund may acquire any securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on the provisions of Section 12(d)(1)(F) or Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. This policy does not prevent a fund from investing in securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on any other provision of applicable law or regulation.
Additional Information Regarding Investment Practices
Each fund’s principal investment strategies are set forth in its prospectus. This section further explains policies and strategies utilized by the funds.
Please refer to each fund’s prospectus and investment restrictions for the policies and strategies pertinent to a particular fund.
Unless otherwise indicated, all limitations applicable to fund investments (as stated in the prospectus and elsewhere in this SAI) apply only at the time a transaction is entered into. If a percentage limitation is complied with at the time of an investment, any subsequent change in percentage resulting from a change in values or assets, or a change in credit quality, will not constitute a violation of that limitation. There is no limit on the ability of a fund to make any type of investment or to invest in any type of security, except as expressly stated in the prospectus(es) or in this SAI or as imposed by law. Derivative instruments are taken into account when determining compliance with a fund's 80% policy and any other investment limitations expressed as a percentage of assets.
Debt Securities and Fixed-Income Investing
Debt securities include securities such as corporate bonds and debentures; commercial paper; trust preferreds, debt securities issued by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities; or foreign governments; asset-backed securities; collateralized-mortgage obligations (“CMOs”); zero coupon bonds; floating rate, inverse floating rate and index obligations; “strips”; structured notes; and pay-in-kind and step securities.
Fixed-income investing is the purchase of a debt security that maintains a level of income that does not change, at least for some period of time. When a debt security is purchased, the fund owns “debt” and becomes a creditor to the company or government.
Consistent with each fund's investment policies, a fund may invest in debt securities, which may be referred to as fixed-income instruments. These may include securities issued by the U.S. government, its agencies or government-sponsored enterprises; corporate debt securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers, including convertible securities and corporate commercial paper; mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities; inflation-indexed bonds issued both by governments and corporations; structured notes, including hybrid or “indexed” securities, event-linked bonds and loan participations; delayed funding loans and revolving credit facilities; bank certificates of deposit (“CDs”), fixed time deposits and bankers’ acceptances; repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements; debt securities issued by state or local governments and their agencies, authorities and other government-sponsored enterprises; obligations of non-U.S. governments or their subdivisions, agencies and government-sponsored enterprises; and obligations of international agencies or supranational entities. Consistent with its investment policies, a fund may invest in derivatives based on fixed-income instruments.
Generally, a fund uses the terms “debt security,” “bond,” “fixed-income instrument” and “fixed-income security” interchangeably, and these terms are interpreted broadly by the funds and include instruments that are intended to provide one or more of the characteristics of a direct investment in one or more debt securities. As new debt securities are developed, the funds may invest in those securities as well.
Maturity and Duration: The maturity of a fixed-income security is a measure of the time remaining until the final payment on the security is due. For simple fixed-income securities, duration indicates the average time at which the security’s cash flows are to be received. For simple fixed-income securities with interest payments occurring prior to the payment of principal, duration is always less than maturity. For example, a current coupon bullet bond with a maturity of 3.5 years will have a duration of approximately three years. In general, the lower the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed-income security, the closer its duration will be to its final maturity; conversely, the higher the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed-income security, the shorter its duration will be compared to its final maturity. The determination
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of duration becomes more complex when fixed-income securities with features like floating coupon payments, optionality, prepayments, and structuring are evaluated. There are differing methodologies for computing effective duration prevailing in the industry. As a result, different investors may estimate duration differently.
Debt and fixed-income securities share three principal risks. First, the level of interest income generated by a fund’s fixed-income investments may decline due to a decrease in market interest rates. If rates decline, when a fund’s fixed-income securities mature or are sold, they may be replaced by lower-yielding investments. Second, the values of fixed-income securities fluctuate with changes in interest rates. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of a fund’s fixed-income investments. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of a fund’s fixed-income investments will generally decline. However, a change in interest rates will not have the same impact on all fixed rate securities. For example, the magnitude of these fluctuations will generally be greater when a fund’s duration or average maturity is longer. Third, certain fixed-income securities are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that an issuer of securities will be unable to pay principal and interest when due, or that the value of the security will suffer because investors believe the issuer is unable to pay.
Mortgage-Backed Securities
Mortgage-backed securities may be issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or private issuers such as banks, insurance companies, and savings and loans. Some of these securities, such as Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) certificates, are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury while others, such as Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and Federated National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) certificates, are not. The U.S. government has provided recent financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but there can be no assurance that it will support these or other government-sponsored entities in the future.
Mortgage-backed securities represent interests in a pool of mortgages. Principal and interest payments made on the mortgages in the underlying mortgage pool are passed through to the fund. These securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity dates would indicate as a result of principal prepayments on the underlying loans. This can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than with traditional fixed-income securities. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayments can be expected to accelerate which will shorten these securities’ weighted average life and may lower their return. Conversely, in a rising interest rate environment, a declining prepayment rate will extend the weighted average life of these securities which generally would cause their values to fluctuate more widely in response to changes in interest rates.
The value of these securities also may change because of changes in the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the federal agency or private institution that issued or guarantees them. In addition, the mortgage securities market in general may be adversely affected by changes in governmental regulation or tax policies.
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, by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to all U.S. government securities. In the case of privately issued mortgage-related securities, the funds may take the position that mortgage-related securities do not represent interests in any particular “industry” or group of industries.
As noted above, there are a number of important differences among the agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government that issue mortgage related securities and among the securities that they issue. Mortgage-related securities issued by GNMA include GNMA Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Ginnie Maes”) which are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by GNMA and such guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. GNMA is a wholly owned U.S. government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. GNMA certificates also are supported by the authority of GNMA to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury to make payments under its guarantee. Mortgage-related securities issued by Fannie Mae include Fannie Mae Guaranteed Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Fannie Maes”) which are solely the obligations of Fannie Mae and are not backed by or entitled to the full faith and credit of the U.S. Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored organization owned entirely by private stockholders. Fannie Maes are guaranteed as to the timely payment of the principal and interest by Fannie Mae. Mortgage-related securities issued by Freddie Mac include Freddie Mac Mortgage Participation Certificates (also known as “Freddie Macs” or “PCs”). Freddie Mac is a corporate instrumentality of the U.S., created pursuant to an Act of Congress, which is owned entirely by Federal Home Loan Banks. Freddie Macs are not guaranteed by the U.S. or by any Federal Home Loan Banks and do not constitute a debt or obligation of the U.S. or of any Federal Home Loan Bank. Freddie Macs entitle the holder to the timely payment of interest, which is guaranteed by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees either ultimate collection or the timely payment of all principal payments on the underlying mortgage loans. When Freddie Mac does not guarantee timely payment of principal, Freddie Mac may remit the amount due on account of its guarantee of ultimate payment of principal at any time after default on an underlying mortgage, but in no event later than one year after it becomes payable.
CMOs, which are debt obligations collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities, provide the holder with a specified interest in the cash flow of a pool of underlying mortgages or other mortgage-backed securities. Issuers of CMOs frequently elect to be taxed as pass-through entities known as real estate mortgage investment conduits. CMOs are issued in multiple classes, each with a specified fixed or floating interest rate and a final distribution date. The relative payment rights of the various CMO classes may be structured in many ways. In most cases, however, payments of principal are applied to the CMO classes in the order of their respective stated maturities, so that no principal payments will be made on a CMO class until all other classes having an earlier stated maturity date are paid in full. The classes may include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until other specified classes have been retired and are converted thereafter to interest-paying securities. They may also include planned amortization classes which generally require,
5

within certain limits, that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date, and generally exhibit less yield and market volatility than other classes. In many cases, CMOs are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities or may be collateralized by a fund of mortgages or mortgage-related securities guaranteed by such an agency or instrumentality. Certain CMOs in which a fund may invest are not guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.
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 prepayments) 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 prepayments of principal, a 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.
The repayment of certain mortgage-related securities depends primarily on the cash collections received from the issuer’s underlying asset portfolio and, in certain cases, the issuer’s ability to issue replacement securities (such as asset-backed commercial paper). As a result, a fund could experience losses in the event of credit or market value deterioration in the issuer’s underlying portfolio, mismatches in the timing of the cash flows of the underlying asset interests and the repayment obligations of maturing securities, or the issuer’s inability to issue new or replacement securities. This is also true for other asset-backed securities. Upon the occurrence of certain triggering events or defaults, the investors in a security held by a fund may become the holders of underlying assets at a time when those assets may be difficult to sell or may be sold only at a loss. If mortgage-backed securities or asset-backed securities are bought at a discount, however, both scheduled payments of principal and unscheduled prepayments will increase current and total returns and will accelerate the recognition of income.
Unlike mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or one of its sponsored entities, mortgage-backed securities issued by private issuers do not have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee, but may have credit enhancement provided by external entities such as banks or financial institutions or achieved through the structuring of the transaction itself. Examples of such credit support arising out of the structure of the transaction include the issue of senior and subordinated securities (e.g., the issuance of securities by a special purpose vehicle in multiple classes or “tranches,” with one or more classes being senior to other subordinated classes as to the payment of principal and interest, with the result that defaults on the underlying mortgage loans are borne first by the holders of the subordinated class); creation of “reserve funds” (in which case cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the payments on the underlying mortgage loans, are held in reserve against future losses); and “over-collateralization” (in which case the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying mortgage loans exceeds that required to make payment of the securities and pay any servicing or other fees). However, there can be no guarantee that credit enhancements, if any, will be sufficient to prevent losses in the event of defaults on the underlying mortgage loans. A fund may also buy mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees.
If a fund purchases subordinated mortgage-backed securities, the payments of principal and interest on the fund’s subordinated securities generally will be made only after payments are made to the holders of securities senior to the fund’s securities. Therefore, if there are defaults on the underlying mortgage loans, a fund will be less likely to receive payments of principal and interest, and will be more likely to suffer a loss. Privately issued mortgage-backed securities are not traded on an exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, mortgage-backed securities held in a fund may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying mortgage loans.
In addition, mortgage-backed securities that are issued by private issuers are not subject to the underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those mortgage-backed securities that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. As a result, the mortgage loans underlying private mortgage-backed securities may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, credit risk or other underwriting characteristics than government or government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities and have wider variances in a number of terms including interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. Privately issued pools more frequently include second mortgages, high loan-to-value mortgages and manufactured housing loans. The coupon rates and maturities of the underlying mortgage loans in a private-label mortgage-backed securities pool may vary to a greater extent than those included in a government guaranteed pool, and the pool may include subprime mortgage loans. Subprime loans refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans. For these reasons, the loans underlying these securities have had, in many cases, higher default rates than those loans that meet government underwriting requirements.
The risk of non-payment is greater for mortgage-backed securities that are backed by mortgage pools that contain subprime loans, but a level of risk exists for all loans. Market factors adversely affecting mortgage loan repayments may include a general economic turndown, high unemployment, a general slowdown in the real estate market, a drop in the market prices of real estate, or an increase in interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments by holders of adjustable rate mortgages.
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The funds may invest in mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities, and by private issuers entities, provided, however, that to the extent that a fund purchases mortgage-related securities from such issuers which may, solely for purposes of the 1940 Act, be deemed to be investment companies, the fund’s investment in such securities will be subject to the limitations on its investment in investment company securities.
Asset-Backed Securities
Asset-backed securities are generally issued as pass-through certificates, which represent undivided fractional ownership interests in the underlying pool of assets, or as debt instruments, which are generally issued as the debt of a special purpose entity organized solely for the purpose of owning such assets and issuing such debt. The pool of assets generally represents the obligations of a number of different parties.
Asset-backed securities have many of the same characteristics and risks as the mortgage-backed securities described above, except that asset-backed securities may be backed by non-real-estate loans, leases or receivables such as auto, credit card or home equity loans.
Non-mortgage asset-backed securities are not issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or government-sponsored entities; however, the payment of principal and interest on such obligations may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit issued by a financial institution (such as a bank or insurance company) which may be affiliated or unaffiliated with the issuers of such securities. In addition, such securities generally will have remaining estimated lives at the time of purchase of five years or less.
Asset-backed securities frequently carry credit protection in the form of extra collateral, subordinated certificates, cash reserve accounts, letters of credit or other enhancements. For example, payments of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or other enhancement issued by a financial institution. Assets which, to date, have been used to back asset-backed securities include motor vehicle installment sales contracts or installment loans secured by motor vehicles, and receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements. Other types of asset-backed securities include those that represent interest in pools of corporate bonds (such as collateralized bond obligations or “CBOs”), bank loans (such as collateralized loan obligations or “CLOs”) and other debt obligations (such as collateralized debt obligations or “CDOs”).
Asset-backed security values may also be affected by factors such as changes in interest rates, the availability of information concerning the pool and its structure, the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the loan pool, the originator of the loans, or the financial institution providing any credit enhancement and the exhaustion of any credit enhancement. The risks of investing in asset-backed securities depend upon payment of the underlying loans by the individual borrowers (i.e., the backing asset). In its capacity as purchaser of an asset-backed security, a fund would generally have no recourse to the entity that originated the loans in the event of default by the borrower. If a letter of credit or other form of credit enhancement is exhausted or otherwise unavailable, holders of asset-backed securities may experience delays in payments or losses if the full amounts due on underlying assets are not realized. Asset-backed securities may also present certain additional risks related to the particular type of collateral. For example, credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Asset-backed securities are also subject to prepayment risk, which may shorten the weighted average life of such securities and may lower their return. In addition, asset backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets.
Asset-backed securities may be subject to greater risk of default during periods of economic downturn than other securities, which could result in possible losses to a fund. In addition, the secondary market for asset-backed securities may not be as liquid as the market for other securities which may result in a fund’s experiencing difficulty in selling or valuing asset-backed securities.
Corporate Debt Securities
Corporate debt securities exist in great variety, differing from one another in quality, maturity, and call or other provisions. Lower-grade bonds, whether rated or unrated, usually offer higher interest income, but also carry increased risk of default. Corporate bonds may be secured or unsecured, senior to or subordinated to other debt of the issuer, and, occasionally, may be guaranteed by another entity. In addition, they may carry other features, such as those described under “Convertible Securities” and “Variable or Floating Rate Securities,” or have special features such as the right of the holder to shorten or lengthen the maturity of a given debt instrument, rights to purchase additional securities, rights to elect from among two or more currencies in which to receive interest or principal payments, or provisions permitting the holder to participate in earnings of the issuer or to participate in the value of some specified commodity, financial index, or other measure of value.
Commercial Paper
Commercial paper refers to short-term unsecured promissory notes issued by commercial and industrial corporations to finance their current operations. Commercial paper may be issued at a discount and redeemed at par, or issued at par with interest added at maturity. The interest or discount rate depends on general interest rates, the credit standing of the issuer, and the maturity of the note, and generally moves in tandem with rates on large CDs and Treasury bills. An established secondary market exists for commercial paper, particularly that of stronger issuers which are rated by Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) and Standard & Poor’s Rating Group (“S&P”). Investments in commercial paper are subject to the risks that general interest rates will rise, that the credit standing or rating of the issuer will fall, or that the secondary market in the issuer’s notes will become too limited to permit their liquidation at a reasonable price.
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Commercial paper includes asset-backed commercial paper (“ABCP”) that is issued by structured investment vehicles or other conduits. These conduits may be sponsored by mortgage companies, investment banking firms, finance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms and special purpose finance entities. ABCP typically refers to a debt security with an original term to maturity of up to 270 days, the payment of which is supported by cash flows from underlying assets, or one or more liquidity or credit support providers, or both. Assets backing ABCP, which may be included in revolving pools of assets with large numbers of obligors, include credit card, car loan and other consumer receivables and home or commercial mortgages, including subprime mortgages. The repayment of ABCP issued by a conduit depends primarily on the cash collections received from the conduit’s underlying asset portfolio and the conduit’s ability to issue new ABCP. Therefore, there could be losses to a fund investing in ABCP in the event of credit or market value deterioration in the conduit’s underlying portfolio, mismatches in the timing of the cash flows of the underlying asset interests and the repayment obligations of maturing ABCP, or the conduit’s inability to issue new ABCP. To protect investors from these risks, ABCP programs may be structured with various protections, such as credit enhancement, liquidity support, and commercial paper stop-issuance and wind-down triggers. However, there can be no guarantee that these protections will be sufficient to prevent losses to investors in ABCP.
Some ABCP programs provide for an extension of the maturity date of the ABCP if, on the related maturity date, the conduit is unable to access sufficient liquidity through the issue of additional ABCP. This may delay the sale of the underlying collateral, and a fund may incur a loss if the value of the collateral deteriorates during the extension period. Alternatively, if collateral for ABCP deteriorates in value, the collateral may be required to be sold at inopportune times or at prices insufficient to repay the principal and interest on the ABCP. ABCP programs may provide for the issuance of subordinated notes as an additional form of credit enhancement. The subordinated notes are typically of a lower credit quality and have a higher risk of default. A fund purchasing these subordinated notes will therefore have a higher likelihood of loss than investors in the senior notes.
Bank Obligations
Bank obligations include dollar-denominated CDs, time deposits and bankers’ acceptances and other short-term debt obligations issued by domestic banks, foreign subsidiaries or foreign branches of domestic banks, domestic and foreign branches of foreign banks, domestic savings and loan associations and other banking institutions. CDs are short-term, unsecured, negotiable obligations of commercial banks. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banks for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are negotiable time drafts drawn on commercial banks usually in connection with international transactions.
Domestic commercial banks organized under federal law are supervised and examined by the Comptroller of the Currency and are required to be members of the Federal Reserve System and to be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). Domestic banks organized under state law are supervised and examined by state banking authorities, but are members of the Federal Reserve System only if they elect to join. Most state institutions are insured by the FDIC (although such insurance may not be of material benefit to a fund, depending upon the principal amount of obligations of each held by the fund) and are subject to federal examination and to a substantial body of federal law and regulation. As a result of federal and state laws and regulations, domestic banks are, among other things, generally required to maintain specified levels of reserves and are subject to other supervision and regulation designed to promote financial soundness. However, not all of such laws and regulations apply to the foreign branches of domestic banks.
Obligations of foreign branches and subsidiaries of domestic banks and domestic and foreign branches of foreign banks, such as CDs and time deposits, may be general obligations of the parent bank in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and governmental regulation. Such obligations are subject to different risks than are those of domestic banks or domestic branches of foreign banks. These risks include foreign economic and political developments, foreign governmental restrictions that may adversely affect payment of principal and interest on the obligations, foreign exchange controls and foreign withholding and other taxes on interest income. Foreign branches of domestic banks and foreign branches of foreign banks are not necessarily subject to the same or similar regulatory requirements that apply to domestic banks, such as mandatory reserve requirements, loan limitations and accounting, auditing and financial recordkeeping requirements. In addition, less information may be publicly available about a foreign branch of a domestic bank or about a foreign bank than about a domestic bank.
Obligations of domestic branches of foreign banks may be general obligations of the parent bank, in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and by state and federal regulation as well as governmental action in the country in which the foreign bank has its head office. A domestic branch of a foreign bank with assets in excess of $1 billion may or may not be subject to reserve requirements imposed by the Federal Reserve System or by the state in which the branch is located if the branch is licensed in that state. In addition, branches licensed by the Comptroller of the Currency and branches licensed by certain states (“State Branches”) may or may not be required to: (i) pledge to the regulator, by depositing assets with a designated bank within the state; and (ii) maintain assets within the state in an amount equal to a specified percentage of the aggregate amount of liabilities of the foreign bank payable at or through all of its agencies or branches within the state. The deposits of State Branches may not necessarily be insured by the FDIC. In addition, there may be less publicly available information about a domestic branch of a foreign bank than about a domestic bank.
Bank Capital Securities: Bank capital securities are issued by banks to help fulfill their regulatory capital requirements. There are two common types of bank capital: Tier I and Tier II. Bank capital is generally, but not always, of investment grade quality. Tier I securities often take the form of trust preferred securities. Tier II securities are commonly thought of as hybrids of debt and preferred stock, are often perpetual (with no maturity date), callable and, under certain conditions, allow for the issuer bank to withhold payment of interest until a later date.
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Collateralized Debt Obligations
Collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) include 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 or other special purpose entity (“SPE”) which is typically backed by a diversified pool of fixed-income securities (which may include high-risk, below-investment-grade securities). A CLO is a trust or other SPE that is 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. Although certain CDOs may receive credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure, over-collateralization or bond insurance, such enhancement may not always be present, and may fail to protect a fund against the risk of loss on default of the collateral. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses, which are in addition to those of a fund.
For both CBOs and CLOs, the cashflows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which bears the first loss from defaults from the bonds or loans in the SPE and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default (though such protection is not complete). Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO trust or CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of subordinate tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as investor aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class. Interest on certain tranches of a CDO may be paid in kind (paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments.
The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which a fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by a fund as illiquid investments. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs allowing a CDO to qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the risks typically associated with fixed-income securities discussed elsewhere in this SAI and a fund’s prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and credit risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) a fund may invest in tranches of CDOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (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; and (v) the CDO’s manager may perform poorly.
Zero Coupon, Step Coupon, Deferred Payment, Stripped and Pay-In-Kind Securities
Zero coupon bonds are issued and traded at a discount from their face values. They do not entitle the holder to any periodic payment of interest prior to maturity. Step coupon bonds are issued and trade at a discount from their face values and pay coupon interest. The coupon rate typically is low for an initial period and then increases to a higher coupon rate thereafter. 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. The discount from the face amount or par value depends on the time remaining until cash payments begin, prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. Stripped securities are securities that are stripped of their interest after the securities are issued, but otherwise are comparable to zero coupon bonds. Pay-in-kind securities may pay all or a portion of their interest or dividends in the form of additional securities. Upon maturity, the holder is entitled to receive the aggregate par value of the securities.
Federal income tax law requires holders of zero coupon, step coupon and deferred payment securities to report the portion of the original issue discount on such securities that accrues that year as interest income, even if prior to the receipt of the corresponding cash payment. In order to avoid a fund-level tax, a fund must distribute each year substantially all of its taxable income, including original issue discount accrued on zero coupon, step coupon or deferred payment securities. Because a fund may not receive full or even any cash payments on a current basis in respect of accrued original-issue discount on zero coupon, step coupon or deferred payment securities, in some years a fund may have to distribute cash obtained from other sources in order to satisfy those distribution requirements. A fund might obtain such cash from selling other fund holdings. These actions may reduce the assets to which a fund’s expenses could be allocated and may reduce the rate of return for the fund. In some circumstances, such sales might be necessary in order to satisfy cash distribution requirements even though investment considerations might otherwise make it undesirable for the fund to sell the securities at the time.
Generally, the market prices of zero coupon, step coupon, deferred payment, stripped and pay-in-kind securities are more volatile than the prices of securities that pay interest periodically and in cash and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than other types of debt securities having similar maturities and credit quality. Investments in zero coupon and step coupon bonds may be more speculative and subject to greater fluctuations in value because of changes in interest rates than bonds that pay interest currently.
Repurchase Agreements
In a repurchase agreement, a fund purchases a security and simultaneously commits to resell that security to the seller at an agreed-upon price on an agreed-upon date within a number of days (usually not more than seven) from the date of purchase. The resale price reflects the purchase price plus an agreed-upon incremental amount which typically is unrelated to the coupon rate or maturity of the purchased security and represents compensation to the seller for use of the purchased security. A repurchase agreement involves the obligation of the seller to
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pay the agreed-upon price, which obligation is in effect secured by the value (at least equal to the amount of the agreed-upon resale price and marked-to-market daily) of the underlying security or collateral. All repurchase agreements entered into by a fund are fully collateralized at all times during the period of the agreement.
Repurchase agreements involve the risk that the seller will fail to repurchase the security, as agreed. In that case, a fund will bear the risk of market value fluctuations until the security can be sold and may encounter delays and incur costs in liquidating the security. Repurchase agreements involve risks in the event of default or insolvency of the other party, including possible delays or restrictions upon a fund’s ability to dispose of the underlying securities, the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which the fund seeks to assert its right to them, the risk of incurring expenses associated with asserting those rights and the risk of losing all or part of the income from the agreement.
A fund may, together with other registered investment companies managed by the fund’s sub-adviser or its affiliates, transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements, including tri-party subcustody repurchase arrangements.
Convertible Securities
Convertible securities are fixed-income securities that may be converted at either a stated price or stated rate into underlying shares of common stock. Convertible securities have general characteristics similar to both fixed-income and equity securities. Although to a lesser extent than with fixed-income securities generally, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, tends to increase as interest rates decline. In addition, because of the conversion feature, the market value of convertible securities tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying common stocks and, therefore, also will react to variations in the general market for equity securities. A significant feature of convertible securities is that as the market price of the underlying common stock declines, convertible securities tend to trade increasingly on a yield basis, and so they may not experience market value declines to the same extent as the underlying common stock. When the market price of the underlying common stock increases, the prices of the convertible securities tend to rise as a reflection of the value of the underlying common stock.
As fixed-income securities, convertible securities provide for a stream of income. The yields on convertible securities generally are higher than those of common stocks. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality. However, a convertible security offers the potential for capital appreciation through the conversion feature, enabling the holder to benefit from increases in the market price of the underlying common stock.
Convertible securities generally are subordinated to other similar but non-convertible securities of the same issuer, although convertible bonds, as corporate debt obligations, enjoy seniority in right of payment to all equity securities, and convertible preferred stock is senior to common stock of the same issuer. Because of the subordination feature, however, convertible securities typically have lower ratings than similar non-convertible securities.
DECS (“Dividend Enhanced Convertible Stock,” or “Debt Exchangeable for Common Stock” when-issued as a debt security) offer a substantial dividend advantage with the possibility of unlimited upside potential if the price of the underlying common stock exceeds a certain level. DECS convert to common stock at maturity. The amount received is dependent on the price of the common stock at the time of maturity. DECS contain two call options at different strike prices. The DECS participate with the common stock up to the first call price. They are effectively capped at that point unless the common stock rises above a second price point, at which time they participate with unlimited upside potential.
PERCS (“Preferred Equity Redeemable Stock,” convert into an equity issue that pays a high cash dividend, has a cap price and mandatory conversion to common stock at maturity) offer a substantial dividend advantage, but capital appreciation potential is limited to a predetermined level. PERCS are less risky and less volatile than the underlying common stock because their superior income mitigates declines when the common stock falls, while the cap price limits gains when the common stock rises.
In evaluating investment in a convertible security, primary emphasis will be given to the attractiveness of the underlying common stock. The convertible debt securities in which a fund may invest are subject to the same rating criteria as the fund’s investment in non-convertible debt securities.
Unlike a convertible security which is a single security, a synthetic convertible security is comprised of two distinct securities that together resemble convertible securities in certain respects. Synthetic convertible securities are created by combining non-convertible bonds or preferred shares with common stocks, warrants or stock call options. The options that will form elements of synthetic convertible securities will be listed on a securities exchange or on NASDAQ. The two components of a synthetic convertible security, which will be issued with respect to the same entity, generally are not offered as a unit, and may be purchased and sold by a fund at different times. Synthetic convertible securities differ from convertible securities in certain respects, including that each component of a synthetic convertible security has a separate market value and responds differently to market fluctuations. Investing in synthetic convertible securities involves the risk normally involved in holding the securities comprising the synthetic convertible security.
A fund will limit its holdings of convertible debt securities to those that, at the time of purchase, are rated at least B- by S&P or B3 by Moody’s or B- by Fitch, Inc., or, if not rated by S&P, Moody’s or Fitch, are of equivalent investment quality as determined by the sub-adviser.
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High Yield Securities
Debt securities rated below investment grade (lower than Baa as determined by Moody’s, lower than BBB as determined by S&P or Fitch, Inc.) or, if unrated, determined to be below investment grade by a fund’s sub-adviser, are commonly referred to as “lower grade debt securities” or “junk bonds.” Generally, such securities offer a higher current yield than is offered by higher rated securities, but also are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligations. The market values of certain of these securities also tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher quality bonds. In addition, medium and lower rated securities and comparable unrated securities generally present a higher degree of credit risk. Lower grade debt securities generally are unsecured and frequently subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness. In addition, the market value of securities in lower rated categories is more volatile than that of higher quality securities, and the markets in which medium and lower rated securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets may make it more difficult for a fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its securities and calculating its net asset value. Moreover, the lack of a liquid trading market may restrict the availability of securities for a fund to purchase and may also have the effect of limiting the ability of a fund to sell securities at their fair value either to meet redemption requests or to respond to changes in the economy or the financial markets.
Lower rated debt securities also present risks based on payment expectations. If an issuer calls the obligation for redemption, a fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. Also, the principal value of bonds moves inversely with movements in interest rates; in the event of rising interest rates, the value of the securities held by a fund may decline more than a fund consisting of higher rated securities. If a fund experiences unexpected net redemptions, it may be forced to sell its higher rated bonds, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of the securities held by the fund and increasing the exposure of the fund to the risks of lower rated securities.
Subsequent to its purchase by a fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by a fund. Neither event will require sale of these securities by a fund, but a sub-adviser will consider the event in determining whether the fund should continue to hold the security.
Except for certain funds, a fund’s investments in convertible debt securities and other high-yield, non-convertible debt securities rated below investment grade will comprise less than 35% of the fund’s net assets. Debt securities rated below the four highest categories are not considered “investment-grade” obligations.
Distressed Debt Securities
Distressed debt securities are debt securities that are purchased in the secondary market and are the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or otherwise in default as to the repayment of principal and/or interest at the time of acquisition by a fund or are rated in the lower rating categories (Ca or lower by Moody’s and CC or lower by S&P) or which, if unrated, are in the judgment of a sub-adviser of equivalent quality. Investment in distressed debt securities is speculative and involves significant risk. The risks associated with high-yield securities are heightened by investing in distressed debt securities.
A fund will generally make such investments only when the fund’s sub-adviser believes it is reasonably likely that the issuer of the distressed debt securities will make an exchange offer or will be the subject of a plan of reorganization pursuant to which the fund will receive new securities (e.g., equity securities). However, there can be no assurance that such an exchange offer will be made or that such a plan of reorganization will be adopted. In addition, a significant period of time may pass between the time at which a fund makes its investment in distressed debt securities and the time that any such exchange offer or plan of reorganization is completed. During this period, it is unlikely that the fund will receive any interest payments on the distressed debt securities, the fund will be subject to significant uncertainty as to whether or not the exchange offer or plan will be completed and the fund may be required to bear certain extraordinary expenses to protect or recover its investment. Even if an exchange offer is made or plan of reorganization is adopted with respect to the distressed debt securities held by a fund, there can be no assurance that the securities or other assets received by the fund in connection with such exchange offer or plan of reorganization will not have a lower value or income potential than may have been anticipated when the investment was made. Moreover, any securities received by the fund upon completion of an exchange offer or plan of reorganization may be restricted as to resale. As a result of a fund’s participation in negotiations with respect to any exchange offer or plan of reorganization with respect to an issuer of distressed debt securities, the fund may be restricted from disposing of such securities.
Defaulted Securities
Defaulted securities are debt securities on which the issuer is not currently making interest payments. Generally, a fund will invest in defaulted securities only when its sub-adviser believes, based upon analysis of the financial condition, results of operations and economic outlook of an issuer, that there is potential for resumption of income payments, that the securities offer an unusual opportunity for capital appreciation or that other advantageous developments appear likely in the future. Notwithstanding a sub-adviser’s belief as to the resumption of income payments, however, the purchase of any security on which payment of interest or dividends is suspended involves a high degree of risk. Such risk includes, among other things, the following:
Investments in securities that are in default involve a high degree of financial and market risks that can result in substantial, or at times even total, losses. Issuers of defaulted securities may have substantial capital needs and may become involved in bankruptcy or reorganization
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proceedings. Among the problems involved in investments in such issuers is the fact that it may be difficult to obtain information about the condition of such issuers. The market prices of such securities also are subject to abrupt and erratic movements and above average price volatility, and the spread between the bid and asked prices of such securities may be greater than normally expected.
A fund will limit holdings of any such securities to amounts that its sub-adviser (if applicable) believes could be readily sold, and its holdings of such securities would, in any event, be limited so as not to limit the fund’s ability to readily dispose of securities to meet redemptions.
Structured Notes and Related Instruments
“Structured” notes and other related instruments are privately negotiated debt obligations where the principal and/or interest is determined by reference to the performance of a benchmark asset, market or interest rate (an “embedded index”), such as selected securities, an index of securities or specified interest rates, or the differential performance of two assets or markets, such as indexes reflecting bonds. Structured instruments may be issued by corporations, including banks, as well as by governmental agencies and frequently are assembled in the form of medium-term notes, but a variety of forms is available and may be used in particular circumstances. The terms of such structured instruments normally provide that their principal and/or interest payments are to be adjusted upwards or downwards (but ordinarily not below zero) to reflect changes in the embedded index while the instruments are outstanding. As a result, the interest and/or principal payments that may be made on a structured product may vary widely, depending on a variety of factors, including the volatility of the embedded index and the effect of changes in the embedded index on principal and/or interest payments. The rate of return on structured notes may be determined by applying a multiplier to the performance or differential performance of the referenced index(es) or other asset(s). Application of a multiplier involves leverage that will serve to magnify the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Investment in indexed securities and structured notes involves certain risks, including the credit risk of the issuer and the normal risks of price changes in response to changes in interest rates. Further, in the case of certain indexed securities or structured notes, a decline in the reference instrument may cause the interest rate to be reduced to zero, and any further declines in the reference instrument may then reduce the principal amount payable on maturity. Finally, these securities may be less liquid than other types of securities, and may be more volatile than their underlying reference instruments.
U.S. Government Securities
U.S. government obligations generally include direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury (such as U.S. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds) and obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities. Examples of the types of U.S. government securities that a fund may hold include the Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Federal Farm Credit Banks, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, and Maritime Administration. U.S. government securities may be supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (such as securities of the Small Business Administration); by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (such as securities of the Federal Home Loan Bank); by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations (such as securities of Fannie Mae); or only by the credit of the issuing agency.
Examples of agencies and instrumentalities which may not always receive financial support from the U.S. government are: Federal Land Banks; Central Bank for Cooperatives; Federal Intermediate Credit Banks; Federal Home Loan Banks; Farmers Home Administration; and Fannie Mae.
Obligations guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or government-sponsored entities include issues by non-government-sponsored entities (like financial institutions) that carry direct guarantees from U.S. government agencies as part of government initiatives in response to the market crisis or otherwise. In the case of obligations not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S., a fund must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the U.S. itself in the event the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitments. Neither the U.S. government nor any of its agencies or instrumentalities guarantees the market value of the securities they issue. Therefore, the market value of such securities will fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates.
On August 5, 2011, S&P lowered the long-term sovereign credit rating assigned to the U.S. to AA+ with a negative outlook. On June 10, 2013, S&P revised the negative outlook to a stable outlook. The long-term impact of the downgrade or the impact of any potential future downgrades are unknown and could negatively impact the funds.
Variable and Floating Rate Securities
Variable and floating rate securities provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the obligations. The terms of such obligations provide that interest rates are adjusted periodically based upon an interest rate adjustment index as provided in the respective obligations. The adjustment intervals may be regular, and range from daily up to annually, or may be event-based, such as based on a change in the prime rate.
The interest rate on a floating rate debt instrument (a “floater”) is a variable rate which is tied to another interest rate, such as a corporate bond index or Treasury bill rate. The interest rate on a floater resets periodically, typically every six months. Because of the interest rate reset feature, floaters may provide a fund with a certain degree of protection against rising interest rates, although a fund will participate in any declines in interest rates as well. A credit spread trade is an investment position relating to a difference in the prices or interest rates of two bonds or other securities or currencies, where the value of the investment position is determined by movements in the difference between the prices or interest rates, as the case may be, of the respective securities or currencies.
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The interest rate on an inverse floating rate debt instrument (an “inverse floater”) resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floating rate security may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed rate obligation of similar credit quality.
A floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher degree of leverage inherent in some floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values.
Such instruments may include variable amount master demand notes that permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary in addition to providing for periodic adjustments in the interest rate. The absence of an active secondary market with respect to particular variable and floating rate instruments could make it difficult for a fund to dispose of a variable or floating rate note if the issuer defaulted on its payment obligation or during periods that a fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights, and a fund could, for these or other reasons, suffer a loss with respect to such instruments. In determining average-weighted portfolio maturity, an instrument will be deemed to have a maturity equal to either the period remaining until the next interest rate adjustment or the time a fund involved can recover payment of principal as specified in the instrument, depending on the type of instrument involved.
Variable rate master demand notes are unsecured commercial paper instruments that permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary and provide for periodic adjustment in the interest rate. Because variable rate master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between a fund and the issuer, they are not normally traded.
Although no active secondary market may exist for these notes, a fund may demand payment of principal and accrued interest at any time or may resell the note to a third party. While the notes are not typically rated by credit rating agencies, issuers of variable rate master demand notes must satisfy a sub-adviser that the ratings are within the two highest ratings of commercial paper.
In addition, when purchasing variable rate master demand notes, a sub-adviser will consider the earning power, cash flows, and other liquidity ratios of the issuers of the notes and will continuously monitor their financial status and ability to meet payment on demand.
In the event an issuer of a variable rate master demand note defaulted on its payment obligations, a fund might be unable to dispose of the note because of the absence of a secondary market and could, for this or other reasons, suffer a loss to the extent of the default.
Municipal Securities
Municipal securities generally include debt obligations (bonds, notes or commercial paper) issued by or on behalf of any of the 50 states and their political subdivisions, agencies and public authorities, certain other governmental issuers (such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) or other qualifying issuers, participation or other interests in these securities and other related investments. A shareholder in a fund will generally exclude from gross income its allocable share of the interest the fund receives on municipal securities.
Municipal securities are issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, such as airports, bridges, highways, housing, hospitals, mass transportation, schools, streets, water and sewer works, gas, and electric utilities. They may also be issued to refund outstanding obligations, to obtain funds for general operating expenses, or to obtain funds to loan to other public institutions and facilities and in anticipation of the receipt of revenue or the issuance of other obligations.
The two principal classifications of municipal securities are “general obligation” securities and “limited obligation” or “revenue” securities. General obligation securities are secured by a municipal issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit, and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Accordingly, the capacity of the issuer of a general obligation bond as to the timely payment of interest and the repayment of principal when due is affected by the issuer’s maintenance of its tax base. Revenue securities are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise tax or other specific revenue source. Accordingly, the timely payment of interest and the repayment of principal in accordance with the terms of the revenue security is a function of the economic viability of the facility or revenue source. Revenue securities include private activity bonds (described below) which are not payable from the unrestricted revenues of the issuer. Consequently, the credit quality of private activity bonds is usually directly related to the credit standing of the corporate user of the facility involved. Municipal securities may also include “moral obligation” bonds, which are normally issued by special purpose public authorities. If the issuer of moral obligation bonds is unable to meet its debt service obligations from current revenues, it may draw on a reserve fund the restoration of which is a moral commitment but not a legal obligation of the state or municipality which created the issuer.
Private Activity Bonds: Private activity bonds are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to provide funds, usually through a loan or lease arrangement, to a private entity for the purpose of financing construction of privately operated industrial facilities, such as warehouse, office, plant and storage facilities and environmental and pollution control facilities. Such bonds are secured primarily by revenues derived from loan repayments or lease payments due from the entity, which may or may not be guaranteed by a parent company or otherwise secured. Private activity bonds generally are not secured by a pledge of the taxing power of the issuer of such bonds. Therefore, repayment of such bonds generally depends on the revenue of a private entity. The continued ability of an entity to generate sufficient revenues for the payment of principal and interest on such bonds will be affected by many factors, including the size of the entity, its capital structure, demand for its products or services, competition, general economic conditions, government regulation and the entity’s dependence on revenues for the operation of the particular facility being financed.
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Interest income on certain types of private activity bonds issued after August 7, 1986 to finance non-governmental activities is a specific tax preference item for purposes of the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) applicable to individuals. Bonds issued in 2009 and 2010 generally are not treated as private activity bonds, and interest earned on such bonds generally is not treated as a tax preference item. Non-corporate investors may be subject to a federal AMT to the extent that the fund derives interest from private activity bonds.
Industrial Development Bonds: Industrial development bonds (“IDBs”) are issued by public authorities to obtain funds to provide financing for privately-operated facilities for business and manufacturing, housing, sports, convention or trade show facilities, airport, mass transit, port and parking facilities, air or water pollution control facilities, and certain facilities for water supply, gas, electricity or sewerage or solid waste disposal. Although IDBs are issued by municipal authorities, the payment of principal and interest on IDBs is dependent solely on the ability of the user of the facilities financed by the bonds to meet its financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of the real and personal property being financed as security for such payments. IDBs are considered municipal securities if the interest paid is exempt from regular federal income tax. Interest earned on IDBs may be subject to the federal AMT applicable to individuals.
Municipal Notes: Municipal notes are short-term debt obligations issued by municipalities which normally have a maturity at the time of issuance of six months to three years. Such notes include tax anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes and project notes. Notes sold in anticipation of collection of taxes, a bond sale or receipt of other revenues are normally obligations of the issuing municipality or agency.
Municipal Commercial Paper: Municipal commercial paper is short-term debt obligations issued by municipalities. Although done so infrequently, municipal commercial paper may be issued at a discount (sometimes referred to as Short-Term Discount Notes). These obligations are issued to meet seasonal working capital needs of a municipality or interim construction financing and are paid from a municipality's general revenues or refinanced with long-term debt. Although the availability of municipal commercial paper has been limited, from time to time the amounts of such debt obligations offered have increased, and this increase may continue.
Participation Interests: A participation interest in municipal obligations (such as private activity bonds and municipal lease obligations) gives a fund an undivided interest in the municipal obligation in the proportion that the fund’s participation interest bears to the total principal amount of the municipal obligation. Participation interests in municipal obligations may be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guarantee of, or a right to put to, a bank (which may be the bank issuing the participation interest, a bank issuing a confirming letter of credit to that of the issuing bank, or a bank serving as agent of the issuing bank with respect to the possible repurchase of the participation interest) or insurance policy of an insurance company. A fund has the right to sell the participation interest back to the institution or draw on the letter of credit or insurance after a specified period of notice, for all or any part of the full principal amount of the fund’s participation in the security, plus accrued interest. Purchase of a participation interest may involve the risk that a fund will not be deemed to be the owner of the underlying municipal obligation for purposes of the ability to claim tax exemption of interest paid on that municipal obligation.
Variable Rate Obligations: The interest rate payable on a variable rate municipal obligation is adjusted either at predetermined periodic intervals or whenever there is a change in the market rate of interest upon which the interest rate payable is based. A variable rate obligation may include a demand feature pursuant to which a fund would have the right to demand prepayment of the principal amount of the obligation prior to its stated maturity. The issuer of the variable rate obligation may retain the right to prepay the principal amount prior to maturity.
Municipal Lease Obligations: Municipal lease obligations may take the form of a lease, an installment purchase or a conditional sales contract. Municipal lease obligations are issued by state and local governments and authorities to acquire land, equipment and facilities such as state and municipal vehicles, telecommunications and computer equipment, and other capital assets. Interest payments on qualifying municipal leases are exempt from federal income taxes. A fund may purchase these obligations directly, or they may purchase participation interests in such obligations. Municipal leases are generally subject to greater risks than general obligation or revenue bonds. State laws set forth requirements that states or municipalities must meet in order to issue municipal obligations; and such obligations may contain a covenant by the issuer to budget for, appropriate, and make payments due under the obligation. However, certain municipal lease obligations may contain “non-appropriation” clauses which provide that the issuer is not obligated to make payments on the obligation in future years unless funds have been appropriated for this purpose each year. Accordingly, such obligations are subject to “non-appropriation” risk. While municipal leases are secured by the underlying capital asset, it may be difficult to dispose of such assets in the event of non-appropriation or other default.
Residual Interest Bonds: Residual Interest Bonds (sometimes referred to as inverse floaters) (“RIBs”) are created by brokers by depositing a Municipal Bond in a trust. The trust in turn issues a variable rate security and RIBs. The interest rate on the short-term component is reset by an index or auction process normally every seven to 35 days, while the RIB holder receives the balance of the income from the underlying Municipal Bond less an auction fee. Therefore, rising short-term interest rates result in lower income for the RIB, and vice versa. An investment in RIBs typically will involve greater risk than an investment in a fixed rate bond. RIBs have interest rates that bear an inverse relationship to the interest rate on another security or the value of an index. Because increases in the interest rate on the other security or index reduce the residual interest paid on a RIB, the value of a RIB is generally more volatile than that of a fixed rate bond. RIBs have interest rate adjustment formulas that generally reduce or, in the extreme, eliminate the interest paid to a fund when short-term interest rates rise, and increase the interest paid to a fund when short-term interest rates fall. RIBs have varying degrees of liquidity that approximate the liquidity of the underlying bond(s), and the market price for these securities is volatile. RIBs can be very volatile and may be less liquid than other Municipal Bonds of comparable maturity. These securities will generally underperform the market of fixed rate bonds in a rising interest rate environment, but tend to outperform the market of fixed rate bonds when interest rates decline or remain relatively stable.
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Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper: Tax-exempt commercial paper is a short-term obligation with a stated maturity of 270 days or less. It is issued by state and local governments or their agencies to finance seasonal working capital needs or as short term financing in anticipation of longer term financing. While tax-exempt commercial paper is intended to be repaid from general revenues or refinanced, it frequently is backed by a letter of credit, lending arrangement, note repurchase agreement or other credit facility agreement offered by a bank or financial institution.
Custodial Receipts and Certificates: Custodial receipts or certificates underwritten by securities dealers or banks evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on certain municipal obligations. The underwriter of these certificates or receipts typically purchases municipal obligations and deposits the obligations in an irrevocable trust or custodial account with a custodian bank, which then issues receipts or certificates that evidence ownership of the periodic unmatured coupon payments and the final principal payment on the obligations. Although under the terms of a custodial receipt, a fund would be typically authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, a fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank those rights as may exist against the underlying issuer. Thus, in the event the underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, the fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying security has been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying security would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.
Stand-By Commitments: Under a stand-by commitment a dealer agrees to purchase, at the fund’s option, specified municipal obligations held by the fund at a specified price and, in this respect, stand-by commitments are comparable to put options. A stand-by commitment entitles the holder to achieve same day settlement and to receive an exercise price equal to the amortized cost of the underlying security plus accrued interest, if any, at the time of exercise. The fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to an institution providing a stand-by commitment and a decline in the credit quality of the institution could cause losses to the fund.
Tender Option Bonds: A tender option bond is a municipal bond (generally held pursuant to a custodial arrangement) having a relatively long maturity and bearing interest at a fixed rate substantially higher than prevailing short-term tax-exempt rates, that has been coupled with the agreement of a third party, such as a financial institution, pursuant to which such institution grants the security holders the option, at periodic intervals, to tender their securities to the institution and receive the face value thereof. As consideration for providing the option, the institution generally receives periodic fees equal to the difference between the municipal bond’s fixed coupon rate and the rate, as determined by a remarketing or similar agent, that would cause the securities, coupled with the tender option, to trade at par. Thus, after payment of this fee, the security holder would effectively hold a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term tax-exempt rate.
Loan Participations and Assignments
Loan participations typically represent direct participation in a loan to a corporate borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates. A fund may participate in such syndications, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a lender. A fund’s investment in a loan participation typically will result in the fund having a contractual relationship only with the lender and not with the borrower. A 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. In connection with purchasing a 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 right of set-off against the borrower, and the fund may not directly benefit from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, a fund may be subject to 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, a 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. Some loans may be secured in whole or in part by assets or other collateral. In other cases, loans may be unsecured or may become undersecured by declines in the value of assets or other collateral securing such loan.
When a fund purchases a loan assignment from lenders, it will acquire direct rights against the borrowers on the loan. Because assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, however, the rights and obligations acquired by a fund as the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning lender.
Certain of the participations or assignments acquired by a fund may involve unfunded commitments of the lenders or revolving credit facilities under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan documentation. A fund may acquire loans of borrowers that are experiencing, or are more likely to experience, financial difficulty, including loans of borrowers that have filed for bankruptcy protection. Although loans in which a fund may invest generally will be secured by specific collateral, there can be no assurance that liquidation of such collateral would satisfy the borrower’s obligation in the event of nonpayment of scheduled interest or principal, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a borrower, a fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a senior loan.
Because there is no liquid market for commercial loans, the funds anticipate that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. The lack of a liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the value of such securities and a fund’s ability to dispose of particular assignments or participations when necessary to meet redemptions of fund shares, to meet the fund’s liquidity needs
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or when necessary in response to a specific economic event, such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of the borrower. The lack of a liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for a fund to assign a value to those securities for purposes of valuing the fund’s investments and calculating its net asset value.
Investments in loans through a direct assignment of the financial institution’s interests with respect to the loan may involve additional risks to a fund. For example, if a loan is foreclosed, a fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral. In addition, it is conceivable that under emerging legal theories of lender liability, a fund could be held liable as co-lender. It is unclear whether loans and other forms of direct indebtedness offer securities law protections against fraud and misrepresentation. In the absence of definitive regulatory guidance, a fund relies on its sub-adviser’s research in an attempt to avoid situations where fraud or misrepresentation could adversely affect the fund.
Subordinated Securities
Subordinated securities are subordinated or “junior” to more senior securities of the issuer, or which represent interests in pools of such subordinated or junior securities. Such securities may include so-called “high yield” or “junk” bonds (i.e., bonds that are rated below investment grade by a rating agency or that are determined by a fund’s sub-adviser to be of equivalent quality) and preferred stock. Under the terms of subordinated securities, payments that would otherwise be made to their holders may be required to be made to the holders of more senior securities, and/or the subordinated or junior securities may have junior liens, if they have any rights at all, in any collateral (meaning proceeds of the collateral are required to be paid first to the holders of more senior securities). As a result, subordinated or junior securities will be disproportionately adversely affected by a default or even a perceived decline in creditworthiness of the issuer.
Participation Interests
A participation interest gives a fund an undivided interest in the security in the proportion that the fund’s participation interest bears to the total principal amount of the security. These instruments may have fixed, floating or variable rates of interest, with remaining maturities of 13 months or less. If the participation interest is unrated, or has been given a rating below that which is permissible for purchase by a fund, the participation interest will be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guarantee of a bank, or the payment obligation otherwise will be collateralized by U.S. government securities, or, in the case of unrated participation interests, the fund’s sub-adviser must have determined that the instrument is of comparable quality to those instruments in which the fund may invest. For certain participation interests, a fund will have the right to demand payment, on not more than seven days’ notice, for all or any part of the fund’s participation interest in the security, plus accrued interest. As to these instruments, a fund intends to exercise its right to demand payment only upon a default under the terms of the security, as needed to provide liquidity to meet redemptions, or to maintain or improve the quality of its investment fund.
Unsecured Promissory Notes
A fund also may purchase unsecured promissory notes which are not readily marketable and have not been registered under the 1933 Act, provided such investments are consistent with the fund’s investment objective.
Guaranteed Investment Contracts
A fund may invest in guaranteed investment contracts (“GICs”) issued by insurance companies. Pursuant to such contracts, a fund makes cash contributions to a deposit portfolio of the insurance company’s general account. The insurance company then credits to the portfolio guaranteed interest. The GICs provide that this guaranteed interest will not be less than a certain minimum rate. The insurance company may assess periodic charges against a GIC for expenses and service costs allocable to it, and the charges will be deducted from the value of the deposit portfolio. Because a fund may not receive the principal amount of a GIC from the insurance company on seven days’ notice or less, the GIC is considered an illiquid investment. In determining average weighted portfolio maturity, a GIC will be deemed to have a maturity equal to the longer of the period of time remaining until the next readjustment of the guaranteed interest rate or the period of time remaining until the principal amount can be recovered from the issuer through demand.
Credit-Linked Securities
Credit-linked securities are issued by a limited purpose trust or other vehicle that, in turn, invests in a basket of derivative instruments, such as credit default swaps, interest rate swaps and other securities, in order to provide exposure to certain high yield or other fixed-income markets. For example, a fund may invest in credit-linked securities as a cash management tool in order to gain exposure to the high yield markets and/or to remain fully invested when more traditional income producing securities are not available. Like an investment in a bond, investments in credit-linked securities represent the right to receive periodic income payments (in the form of distributions) and payment of principal at the end of the term of the security. However, these payments are conditioned on the trust’s receipt of payments from, and the trust’s potential obligations to, the counterparties to the derivative instruments and other securities in which the trust invests. For instance, the trust may sell one or more credit default swaps, under which the trust would receive a stream of payments over the term of the swap agreements provided that no event of default has occurred with respect to the referenced debt obligation upon which the swap is based. If a default occurs, the stream of payments may stop and the trust would be obligated to pay the counterparty the par (or other agreed upon value) of the referenced debt obligation. This, in turn, would reduce the amount of income and principal that a fund would receive as an investor in the trust. A fund’s investments in these instruments are indirectly subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments, including, among others, credit risk, default or similar event risk, counterparty risk, interest rate risk, leverage risk and management risk. It is expected that the securities will be exempt from registration under the 1933 Act. Accordingly, there may be no established trading market for the securities and they may constitute illiquid investments.
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Certain issuers of structured products may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, a fund’s investments in these structured products may be subject to limits applicable to investments in investment companies and may be subject to restrictions contained in the 1940 Act.
Event-Linked Bonds
A fund may invest a portion of its net assets in “event-linked bonds,” which are fixed-income securities for which the return of principal and payment of interest is contingent on the non-occurrence of specific “trigger” event, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or other physical or weather-related phenomenon. Some event-linked bonds are commonly referred to as “catastrophe bonds.” If a trigger event causes losses exceeding a specific amount in the geographic region and time period specified in a bond, a fund investing in the bond may lose a portion or all of its principal invested in the bond. If no trigger event occurs, the fund will recover its principal plus interest. For some event-linked bonds, the trigger event or losses may be based on company-wide losses, index-portfolio losses, industry indices, or readings of scientific instruments rather than specified actual losses. Often the event-linked bonds provide for extensions of maturity that are mandatory, or optional at the discretion of the issuer, in order to process and audit loss claims in those cases where a trigger event has, or possibly has, occurred. An extension of maturity may increase volatility. In addition to the specified trigger events, event-linked bonds also may expose a fund to certain unanticipated risks including but not limited to issuer risk, credit risk, counterparty risk, adverse regulatory or jurisdictional interpretations, liquidity risk, and adverse tax consequences.
Equity Securities and Related Investments
Equity securities, such as common stock, generally represent an ownership interest in a company. While equity securities have historically generated higher average returns than fixed-income securities, equity securities have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. An adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of a particular equity security held by a fund. Also, the prices of equity securities, particularly common stocks, are sensitive to general movements in the stock market. A drop in the stock market may depress the price of equity securities held by a fund.
Holders of equity securities are not creditors of the issuer. As such, if an issuer liquidates, holders of equity securities are entitled to their pro rata share of the issuer’s assets, if any, after creditors (including the holders of fixed-income securities and senior equity securities) are paid.
There may be little trading in the secondary market for particular equity securities, which may adversely affect a fund’s ability to value accurately or dispose of such equity securities. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the value and/or liquidity of equity securities.
Common Stocks: Common stocks are the most prevalent type of equity security. Common stockholders receive the residual value of the issuer’s earnings and assets after the issuer pays its creditors and any preferred stockholders. As a result, changes in an issuer’s earnings directly influence the value of its common stock.
Preferred Stocks: A fund may purchase preferred stock. Preferred stock pays dividends at a specified rate and has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of an issuer’s assets but is junior to the debt securities of the issuer in those same respects. Preferred stock generally pays quarterly dividends. Preferred stocks may differ in many of their provisions. Among the features that differentiate preferred stocks from one another are the dividend rights, which may be cumulative or non-cumulative and participating or non-participating, redemption provisions, and voting rights. Such features will establish the income return and may affect the prospects for capital appreciation or risks of capital loss.
The market prices of preferred stocks are subject to changes in interest rates and are more sensitive to changes in an issuer’s creditworthiness than are the prices of debt securities. Shareholders of preferred stock may suffer a loss of value if dividends are not paid. Under ordinary circumstances, preferred stock does not carry voting rights.
Investments in Initial Public Offerings: A fund may invest in initial public offerings of equity securities. The market for such securities may be more volatile and entail greater risk of loss than investments in more established companies. Investments in initial public offerings may represent a significant portion of a fund’s investment performance. A fund cannot assure that investments in initial public offerings will continue to be available to the fund or, if available, will result in positive investment performance. In addition, as a fund’s portfolio grows in size, the impact of investments in initial public offerings on the overall performance of the fund is likely to decrease.
Warrants and Rights
A fund may invest in warrants and rights. A warrant is a type of security that entitles the holder to buy a given number of common stock at a specified price, usually higher than the market price at the time of issuance, for a period of years or to perpetuity. The purchaser of a warrant expects the market price of the security will exceed the purchase price of the warrant plus the exercise price of the warrant, thus resulting in a profit. Of course, because the market price may never exceed the exercise price before the expiration date of the warrant, the purchaser of the warrant risks the loss of the entire purchase price of the warrant. In contrast, rights, which also represent the right to buy common shares, normally have a subscription price lower than the current market value of the common stock and are offered during a set subscription period.
Warrants and rights are subject to the same market risks as common stocks, but may be more volatile in price. An investment in warrants or rights may be considered speculative. In addition, the value of a warrant or right does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities and a warrant or right ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date.
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Derivatives
The following investments are subject to limitations as set forth in each fund’s investment restrictions and policies.
A fund may utilize options, futures contracts (sometimes referred to as “futures”), options on futures contracts, forward contracts, swaps (including total return swaps, some of which may be known as contracts for difference), swaps on futures contracts, caps, floors, collars, indexed securities, various mortgage-related obligations, structured or synthetic financial instruments and other derivative instruments (collectively, “Financial Instruments”). A fund may use Financial Instruments for any purpose, including as a substitute for other investments, to attempt to enhance its portfolio’s return or yield and to alter the investment characteristics of its portfolio (including to attempt to mitigate risk of loss in some fashion, or “hedge”). A fund may choose not to make use of derivatives for a variety of reasons, and no assurance can be given that any derivatives strategy employed will be successful.
The U.S. government and certain foreign governments have adopted regulations governing derivatives markets, including mandatory clearing of certain derivatives, margin and reporting requirements. Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act governs a fund’s use of derivative instruments and certain other transactions that create future payment and/or delivery obligations by the fund. Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act permits a fund to enter into Derivatives Transactions (as defined below) and certain other transactions notwithstanding the restrictions on the issuance of “senior securities” under Section 18 of the 1940 Act. Section 18 of the 1940 Act, among other things, prohibits open-end funds, including the funds, from issuing or selling any “senior security,” other than borrowing from a bank (subject to a requirement to maintain 300% “asset coverage”).
Under Rule 18f-4, “Derivatives Transactions” include the following: (1) any swap, security-based swap (including a contract for differences), futures contract, forward contract, option (excluding purchased options), any combination of the foregoing, or any similar instrument, under which a fund is or may be required to make any payment or delivery of cash or other assets during the life of the instrument or at maturity or early termination, whether as margin or settlement payment or otherwise; (2) any short sale borrowing; (3) reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions (e.g., recourse and non-recourse tender option bonds, and borrowed bonds), if the fund elects to treat these transactions as Derivatives Transactions under Rule 18f-4; and (4) when-issued or forward-settling securities (e.g., firm and standby commitments, including to-be-announced (“TBA”) commitments, and dollar rolls) and non-standard settlement cycle securities, unless the fund intends to physically settle the transaction and the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date.
Rule 18f-4 requires a fund that invests in Derivatives Transactions above a specified amount adopt and implement a derivatives risk management program administered by a derivatives risk manager that is appointed by and overseen by the fund’s Board of Trustees, and comply with an outer limit on fund leverage risk based on value at risk. A fund that uses Derivative Transactions in a limited amount are considered “limited derivatives users,” as defined by Rule 18f-4, will not be subject to the full requirements of Rule 18f-4, but will have to adopt and implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to manage the fund’s derivatives risk. Funds will be subject to reporting and recordkeeping requirements regarding their derivatives use.
The requirements of Rule 18f-4 may limit a fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may also increase the cost of a fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect the value of a fund’s investments and/or the performance of a fund. The rule also may not be effective to limit a fund’s risk of loss. In particular, measurements of value at risk rely on historical data and may not accurately measure the degree of risk reflected in a fund’s derivatives or other investments. There may be additional regulation of the use of derivatives by registered investment companies, such as the funds, which could significantly affect their use. The ultimate impact of the regulations remains unclear. Additional regulation of derivatives may make them more costly, limit their availability or utility, or otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets.
In connection with the adoption of Rule 18f-4, the SEC eliminated the asset segregation and coverage framework arising from prior SEC guidance for covering derivatives and similar instruments. A fund may still segregate cash or other liquid or other assets to cover the funding of its obligations under derivatives contracts or make margin payments when it takes positions in derivatives involving obligations to third parties.
The use of Financial Instruments may be limited by applicable law and any applicable regulations of the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), or the exchanges on which some Financial Instruments may be traded. (Note, however, that some Financial Instruments that a fund may use may not be listed on any exchange and may not be regulated by the SEC or the CFTC.) In addition, a fund’s ability to use Financial Instruments may be limited by tax considerations.
In addition to the instruments and strategies discussed in this section, a sub-adviser may discover additional opportunities in connection with Financial Instruments and other similar or related techniques. These opportunities may become available as a sub-adviser develops new techniques, as regulatory authorities broaden the range of permitted transactions and as new Financial Instruments or other techniques are developed. A sub-adviser may utilize these opportunities and techniques to the extent that they are consistent with a fund’s investment objective and permitted by its investment limitations and applicable regulatory authorities. These opportunities and techniques may involve risks different from or in addition to those summarized herein.
This discussion is not intended to limit a fund’s investment flexibility, unless such a limitation is expressly stated, and therefore will be construed by a fund as broadly as possible. Statements concerning what a fund may do are not intended to limit any other activity. Also, as with any investment or investment technique, even when the prospectus or this discussion indicates that a fund may engage in an activity, it may not actually do so for a variety of reasons, including cost considerations.
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The use of Financial Instruments involves special considerations and risks, certain of which are summarized below, and may result in losses to a fund. In general, the use of Financial Instruments may increase the volatility of a fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risk or exposure assumed. Even a small investment in derivatives may magnify or otherwise increase investment losses to a fund. As noted above, there can be no assurance that any derivatives strategy will succeed.
Financial Instruments are subject to the risk that the market value of the derivative itself or the market value of underlying instruments will change in a way adverse to a fund’s interest. Many Financial Instruments are complex, and successful use of them depends in part upon the sub-adviser’s ability to forecast correctly future market trends and other financial or economic factors or the value of the underlying security, index, interest rate, currency or other instrument or measure. Even if a sub-adviser’s forecasts are correct, other factors may cause distortions or dislocations in the markets that result in unsuccessful transactions. Financial Instruments may behave in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal or volatile market conditions.
A fund may segregate cash or other liquid assets to cover the funding of its obligations under Financial Instruments or make margin payments when it takes positions in Financial Instruments involving obligations to third parties. Assets that are segregated or used as cover, margin or collateral may be required to be in the form of cash or liquid securities, and typically may not be sold while the position in the Financial Instrument is open unless they are replaced with other appropriate assets. If markets move against a fund’s position, the fund may be required to maintain or post additional assets and may have to dispose of existing investments to obtain assets acceptable as collateral or margin. This may prevent it from pursuing its investment objective. Assets that are segregated or used as cover, margin or collateral typically are invested, and these investments are subject to risk and may result in losses to a fund. These losses may be substantial, and may be in addition to losses incurred by using the Financial Instrument in question. If a fund is unable to close out its positions, it may be required to continue to maintain such assets or accounts or make such payments until the positions expire or mature, and the fund will continue to be subject to investment risk on the assets. In addition, a fund may not be able to recover the full amount of its margin from an intermediary if that intermediary were to experience financial difficulty. Segregation, cover, margin and collateral requirements may impair a fund’s ability to sell a portfolio security or make an investment at a time when it would otherwise be favorable to do so, or require the fund to sell a portfolio security or close out a derivatives position at a disadvantageous time or price.
A fund’s ability to close out or unwind a position in a Financial Instrument prior to expiration or maturity depends on the existence of a liquid market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the other party to the transaction (the “counterparty”) to enter into a transaction closing out the position. If there is no market or a fund is not successful in its negotiations, a fund may not be able to sell or unwind the derivative position at a particular time or at an anticipated price. This may also be the case if the counterparty to the Financial Instrument becomes insolvent. A fund may be required to make delivery of portfolio securities or other assets underlying a Financial Instrument in order to close out a position or to sell portfolio securities or assets at a disadvantageous time or price in order to obtain cash to close out the position. While the position remains open, a fund continues to be subject to investment risk on the Financial Instrument. A fund may or may not be able to take other actions or enter into other transactions, including hedging transactions, to limit or reduce its exposure to the Financial Instrument.
Certain Financial Instruments transactions may have a leveraging effect on a fund, and adverse changes in the value of the underlying security, index, interest rate, currency or other instrument or measure can result in losses substantially greater than the amount invested in the Financial Instrument itself. When a fund engages in transactions that have a leveraging effect, the value of the fund is likely to be more volatile and all other risks also are likely to be compounded. This is because leverage generally magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of an asset and creates investment risk with respect to a larger pool of assets than a fund would otherwise have. Certain Financial Instruments have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.
Many Financial Instruments may be difficult to value, which may result in increased payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to a fund.
Liquidity risk exists when a particular Financial Instrument is difficult to purchase or sell. If a derivative transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, a fund may be unable to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price. Certain Financial Instruments, including certain over-the-counter (or “OTC”) options and swaps, may be considered illiquid and therefore subject to a fund’s limitation on illiquid investments.
In a hedging transaction there may be imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between the identity, price or price movements of a Financial Instrument and the identity, price or price movements of the investments being hedged. This lack of correlation may cause the hedge to be unsuccessful and may result in a fund incurring substantial losses and/or not achieving anticipated gains. Even if the strategy works as intended, a fund might have been in a better position had it not attempted to hedge at all.
Financial Instruments used for non-hedging purposes may result in losses which would not be offset by increases in the value of portfolio holdings or declines in the cost of securities or other assets to be acquired. In the event that a fund uses a Financial Instrument as an alternative to purchasing or selling other investments or in order to obtain desired exposure to an index or market, the fund will be exposed to the same risks as are incurred in purchasing or selling the other investments directly, as well as the risks of the transaction itself.
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Certain Financial Instruments involve the risk of loss resulting from the insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty or the failure by the counterparty to make required payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the contract. In the event of default by a counterparty, a fund may have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, which may be limited by applicable law in the case of the counterparty’s bankruptcy.
Financial Instruments involve operational risk. There may be incomplete or erroneous documentation or inadequate collateral or margin, or transactions may fail to settle. For Financial Instruments not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a fund may have only contractual remedies in the event of a counterparty default, and there may be delays, costs or disagreements as to the meaning of contractual terms and litigation, in enforcing those remedies.
Certain Financial Instruments transactions, including certain options, swaps, forward contracts, and certain options on foreign currencies, are entered into directly by the counterparties and/or through financial institutions acting as market makers (“OTC derivatives”), rather than being traded on exchanges or in markets registered with the CFTC or the SEC. Many of the protections afforded to exchange participants will not be available to participants in OTC derivatives transactions. For example, OTC derivatives transactions are not subject to the guarantee of an exchange, and only OTC derivatives that are either required to be cleared or submitted voluntarily for clearing to a clearinghouse will enjoy the protections that central clearing provides against default by the original counterparty to the trade. In an OTC derivatives transaction that is not cleared, the fund bears the risk of default by its counterparty. In a cleared derivatives transaction, the fund is instead exposed to the risk of default of the clearinghouse and the risk of default of the broker through which it has entered into the transaction. Information available on counterparty creditworthiness may be incomplete or outdated, thus reducing the ability to anticipate counterparty defaults.
Swap contracts involve special risks. Swaps may in some cases be illiquid. In the absence of a central exchange or market for swap transactions, they may be difficult to trade or value, especially in the event of market disruptions. The Dodd-Frank Act established a comprehensive new regulatory framework for swaps. Under this framework, regulation of the swap market is divided between the SEC and the CFTC. The SEC and CFTC have approved a number rules and interpretations as part of the establishment of this new regulatory regime. It is possible that developments in the swap market, including these new or additional regulations, could adversely affect a fund’s ability to terminate existing swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements. Credit default swaps involve additional risks. For example, credit default swaps increase credit risk since a fund has exposure to both the issuer of the referenced obligation (typically a debt obligation) and the counterparty to the credit default swap.
Certain derivatives, such as interest rate swaps and credit default swaps that are based on an index, are required under applicable law to be cleared by a regulated clearinghouse. Swaps subject to this requirement are typically submitted for clearing through brokerage firms that are members of the clearinghouse. A fund would establish an account with a brokerage firm to facilitate clearing such a swap, and the clearinghouse would become the fund’s counterparty. A brokerage firm would guarantee the fund’s performance on the swap to the clearinghouse. The fund would be exposed to the credit risk of the clearinghouse and the brokerage firm that holds the cleared swap. The brokerage firm also would impose margin requirements with respect to open cleared swap positions held by the fund, and the brokerage firm would be able to require termination of those positions in certain circumstances. These margin requirements and termination provisions may adversely affect the fund’s ability to trade cleared swaps. In addition, the fund may not be able to recover the full amount of its margin from a brokerage firm if the firm were to go into bankruptcy. It is also possible that the fund would not be able to enter into a swap transaction that is required to be cleared if no clearinghouse will accept the swap for clearing.
Swaps that are required to be cleared must be traded on a regulated execution facility or contract market that makes them available for trading. The transition from trading swaps bilaterally to trading them on such a facility or market may not result in swaps being easier to trade or value and may present certain execution risks if these facilities and markets do not operate properly. On-facility trading of swaps is also expected to lead to greater standardization of their terms. It is possible that a fund may not be able to enter into swaps that fully meet its investment needs, or that the costs of entering into customized swaps, including any applicable margin requirements, will be significant.
Financial Instruments transactions conducted outside the U.S. may not be conducted in the same manner as those entered into on U.S. exchanges, and may be subject to different margin, exercise, settlement or expiration procedures. Many of the risks of Financial Instruments transactions are also applicable to Financial Instruments used outside the U.S. Financial Instruments used outside the U.S. also are subject to the risks affecting foreign securities, currencies and other instruments.
Financial Instruments involving currency are subject to additional risks. Currency related transactions may be negatively affected by government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations. Exchange rates may be influenced by factors extrinsic to a country’s economy. Also, there is no systematic reporting of last sale information with respect to foreign currencies. As a result, the information on which trading in currency derivatives is based may not be as complete as, and may be delayed beyond, comparable data for other transactions.
Use of Financial Instruments involves transaction costs, which may be significant. Use of Financial Instruments also may increase the amount of taxable income to shareholders.
Hedging: As stated above, the term “hedging” often is used to describe a transaction or strategy that is intended to mitigate risk of loss in some fashion. Hedging strategies can be broadly categorized as “short hedges” and “long hedges.” A short hedge is a purchase or sale of a
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Financial Instrument intended partially or fully to offset potential declines in the value of one or more investments held in a fund’s portfolio. In a short hedge, a fund takes a position in a Financial Instrument whose price is expected to move in the opposite direction of the price of the investment being hedged.
Conversely, a long hedge is a purchase or sale of a Financial Instrument intended partially or fully to offset potential increases in the acquisition cost of one or more investments that a fund intends to acquire. Thus, in a long hedge, a fund takes a position in a Financial Instrument whose price is expected to move in the same direction as the price of the prospective investment being hedged. A long hedge is sometimes referred to as an anticipatory hedge. In an anticipatory hedge transaction, a fund does not own a corresponding security and, therefore, the transaction does not relate to the portfolio security that a fund owns. Rather, it relates to a security that a fund intends to acquire. If a fund does not complete the hedge by purchasing the security it anticipated purchasing, the effect on the fund’s portfolio is the same as if the transaction were entered into for speculative purposes.
In hedging transactions, Financial Instruments on securities (such as options and/or futures) generally are used to attempt to hedge against price movements in one or more particular securities positions that a fund owns or intends to acquire. Financial Instruments on indices, in contrast, generally are used to attempt to hedge against price movements in market sectors in which a fund has invested or expects to invest. Financial Instruments on debt securities generally are used to hedge either individual securities or broad debt market sectors.
Options – Generally: A call option gives the purchaser the right to buy, and obligates the writer to sell, the underlying investment at the agreed-upon price during the option period. A put option gives the purchaser the right to sell, and obligates the writer to buy, the underlying investment at the agreed-upon price during the option period. Purchasers of options pay an amount, known as a premium, to the option writer in exchange for the right under the option contract.
Exchange-traded options in the U.S. are issued by a clearing organization affiliated with the exchange on which the option is listed that, in effect, guarantees completion of every exchange-traded option transaction. In contrast, OTC options are contracts between a fund and its counterparty (usually a securities dealer or a bank) with no clearing organization guarantee. Unlike exchange-traded options, which are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size, and strike price, the terms of OTC options generally are established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract. When a fund purchases an OTC option, it relies on the counterparty from whom it purchased the option to make or take delivery of the underlying investment upon exercise of the option. Failure by the counterparty to do so would result in the loss of any premium paid by a fund as well as the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.
Writing put or call options can enable a fund to enhance income or yield by reason of the premiums paid by the purchasers of such options. However, a fund may also suffer a loss. For example, if the market price of the security underlying a put option written by a fund declines to less than the exercise price of the option, minus the premium received, it can be expected that the option will be exercised and a fund would be required to purchase the security at more than its market value. If a security appreciates to a price higher than the exercise price of a call option written by a fund, it can be expected that the option will be exercised and a fund will be obligated to sell the security at less than its market value.
The value of an option position will reflect, among other things, the current market value of the underlying investment, the time remaining until expiration, the relationship of the exercise price to the market price of the underlying investment, the historical price volatility of the underlying investment and general market conditions. Options purchased by a fund that expire unexercised have no value, and the fund will realize a loss in the amount of the premium paid and any transaction costs. If an option written by a fund expires unexercised, the fund realizes a gain equal to the premium received at the time the option was written. Transaction costs must be included in these calculations.
A fund may effectively terminate its right or obligation under an option by entering into a closing transaction. For example, a fund may terminate its obligation under a call or put option that it had written by purchasing an identical call or put option; this is known as a closing purchase transaction. Conversely, a fund may terminate a position in a put or call option it had purchased by writing an identical put or call option; this is known as a closing sale transaction. Closing transactions permit a fund to realize profits or limit losses on an option position prior to its exercise or expiration. There can be no assurance that it will be possible for a fund to enter into any closing transaction.
A type of put that a fund may purchase is an “optional delivery standby commitment,” which is entered into by parties selling debt securities to a fund. An optional delivery standby commitment gives a fund the right to sell the security back to the seller on specified terms. This right is provided as an inducement to purchase the security.
Transamerica High Yield Bond may not write covered put and call options or buy put and call options and warrants on securities that are traded on U.S. and foreign securities exchanges and over-the-counter.
Options on Indices: Puts and calls on indices are similar to puts and calls on securities (described above) or futures contracts (described below) except that all settlements are in cash and gain or loss depends on changes in the index in question rather than on price movements in individual securities or futures contracts. When a fund writes a call on an index, it receives a premium and agrees that, prior to the expiration date, the purchaser of the call, upon exercise of the call, will receive from a fund an amount of cash if the closing level of the index upon which the call is based is greater than the exercise price of the call. The amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the index and the exercise price of the call times a specified multiple (“multiplier”), which determines the total dollar value for each point of such difference. When a fund buys a call on an index, it pays a premium and has the same rights as to such call as are indicated above. When a fund buys a put on an index, it pays a premium and has the right, prior to the expiration date, to require the seller of the put, upon the fund’s exercise of the put, to deliver to the fund an amount of cash if the closing level of the index upon which the put is based is less than the exercise price of the put, which amount of cash is determined by the multiplier, as described above for calls. When a fund writes a put on an
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index, it receives a premium and the purchaser of the put has the right, prior to the expiration date, to require the fund to deliver to it an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and exercise price times the multiplier if the closing level is less than the exercise price.
Options on indices may, depending on the circumstances, involve greater risk than options on securities. Because index options are settled in cash, when a fund writes a call on an index it may not be able to provide in advance for its potential settlement obligations by acquiring and holding the underlying securities.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts: A financial futures contract sale creates an obligation by the seller to deliver the type of Financial Instrument or, in the case of index and similar futures, cash, called for in the contract in a specified delivery month for a stated price. A financial futures contract purchase creates an obligation by the purchaser to take delivery of the asset called for in the contract in a specified delivery month at a stated price. Options on futures give the purchaser the right to assume a position in a futures contract at the specified option exercise price at any time during the period of the option.
Futures strategies can be used to change the duration of a fund’s portfolio. If a sub-adviser wishes to shorten the duration of the fund’s portfolio, a fund may sell a debt futures contract or a call option thereon, or purchase a put option on that futures contract. If a sub-adviser wishes to lengthen the duration of a fund’s portfolio, the fund may buy a debt futures contract or a call option thereon, or sell a put option thereon.
Futures contracts may also be used for other purposes, such as to simulate full investment in underlying securities while retaining a cash balance for portfolio management purposes, as a substitute for direct investment in a security, to facilitate trading, to reduce transaction costs, or to seek higher investment returns when a futures contract or option is priced more attractively than the underlying security or index.
No price is paid upon entering into a futures contract. Instead, at the inception of a futures contract a fund is required to deposit “initial margin.” Margin must also be deposited when writing a call or put option on a futures contract, in accordance with applicable exchange rules. Under certain circumstances, such as periods of high volatility, a fund may be required by an exchange to increase the level of its initial margin payment, and initial margin requirements might be increased generally in the future by regulatory action.
Subsequent “variation margin” payments are made to and from the futures broker daily as the value of the futures position varies, a process known as “marking-to-market.” Daily variation margin calls could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. If a fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a disadvantageous time or price.
Although some futures and options on futures call for making or taking delivery of the underlying securities, currencies or cash, generally those contracts are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures or options (involving the same index, currency or underlying security and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, a fund realizes a gain, or if it is more, a fund realizes a loss. If an offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, a fund realizes a gain, or if it is less, a fund realizes a loss. A fund will also bear transaction costs for each contract, which will be included in these calculations. Positions in futures and options on futures may be closed only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular contract at a particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures contract or options position.
Under certain circumstances, futures exchanges may establish daily limits on the amount that the price of a futures contract or an option on a futures contract can vary from the previous day’s settlement price; once that limit is reached, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond the limit. Daily price limits do not limit potential losses because prices could move to the daily limit for several consecutive days with little or no trading, thereby preventing liquidation of unfavorable positions.
If a fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures position due to the absence of a liquid secondary market, the imposition of price limits or otherwise, it could incur substantial losses. A fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, a fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments and might be required to maintain the position being hedged by the future or option or to maintain cash or securities in a segregated account.
If an index future is used for hedging purposes the risk of imperfect correlation between movements in the price of index futures and movements in the price of the securities that are the subject of the hedge increases as the composition of a fund’s portfolio diverges from the securities included in the applicable index. The price of the index futures may move more than or less than the price of the securities being hedged. To compensate for the imperfect correlation of movements in the price of the securities being hedged and movements in the price of the index futures, a fund may buy or sell index futures in a greater dollar amount than the dollar amount of the securities being hedged if the historical volatility of the prices of such securities being hedged is more than the historical volatility of the prices of the securities included in the index. It is also possible that, where a fund has sold index futures contracts to hedge against a decline in the market, the market may advance and the value of the securities held in the fund may decline. If this occurred, a fund would lose money on the futures contract and also experience a decline in value of its portfolio securities.
Where index futures are purchased to hedge against a possible increase in the price of securities before a fund is able to invest in them in an orderly fashion, it is possible that the market may decline instead. If a sub-adviser then concludes not to invest in them at that time because of concern as to possible further market decline or for other reasons, a fund will realize a loss on the futures contract that is not offset by a reduction in the price of the securities it had anticipated purchasing.
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Non-U.S. Currency Strategies: A fund may invest in securities that are denominated in non-U.S. currencies and may engage in a variety of non-U.S. currency exchange transactions to protect against uncertainty in the level of future exchange rates or to earn additional income. A fund may use options and futures contracts, swaps and indexed notes relating to non-U.S. currencies and forward currency contracts to attempt to hedge against movements in the values of the non-U.S. currencies in which the fund’s securities are denominated or to attempt to enhance income or yield. Currency hedges can protect against price movements in a security that a fund owns or intends to acquire that are attributable to changes in the value of the currency in which it is denominated. Such hedges do not, however, protect against price movements in the securities that are attributable to other causes.
The value of Financial Instruments on non-U.S. currencies depends on the value of the underlying currency relative to the U.S. dollar. Because non-U.S. currency transactions occurring in the interbank market might involve substantially larger amounts than those involved in the use of such Financial Instruments, a fund could be disadvantaged by having to deal in the odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying non-U.S. currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots.
There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for non-U.S. currencies or any regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information generally is representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus might not reflect odd-lot transactions where rates might be less favorable. The interbank market in non-U.S. currencies is a global, round-the-clock market. To the extent the U.S. options or futures markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements might take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the markets for the Financial Instruments until they reopen.
Settlement of transactions involving non-U.S. currencies might be required to take place within the country issuing the underlying currency. Thus, a fund might be required to accept or make delivery of the underlying non-U.S. currency in accordance with any U.S. or non-U.S. regulations regarding the maintenance of non-U.S. banking arrangements by U.S. residents and might be required to pay any fees, taxes and charges associated with such delivery assessed in the issuing country.
Generally, OTC non-U.S. currency options used by a fund are European-style options. This means that the option is only exercisable immediately prior to its expiration. This is in contrast to American-style options, which are exercisable at any time prior to the expiration date of the option.
Forward Currency Contracts: A fund may enter into forward currency contracts to purchase or sell non-U.S. currencies for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars or another non-U.S. currency. A forward currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days (term) from the date of the forward currency contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the forward currency contract. These forward currency contracts are traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers.
The cost to a fund of engaging in forward currency contracts varies with factors such as the currency involved, the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing. Because forward currency contracts are usually entered into on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are involved. When a fund enters into a forward currency contract, it relies on the counterparty to make or take delivery of the underlying currency at the maturity of the contract. Failure by the counterparty to do so would result in the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.
As is the case with futures contracts, parties to forward currency contracts can enter into offsetting closing transactions, similar to closing transactions on futures contracts, by selling or purchasing, respectively, an instrument identical to the instrument purchased or sold. Secondary markets generally do not exist for forward currency contracts, with the result that closing transactions generally can be made for forward currency contracts only by negotiating directly with the counterparty.
If a fund engages in a forward currency contract with respect to particular securities, the precise matching of forward currency contract amounts and the value of the securities involved generally will not be possible because the value of such securities, measured in the non-U.S. currency, will change after the forward currency contract has been established. Thus, a fund might need to purchase or sell non-U.S. currencies in the spot (cash) market to the extent such non-U.S. currencies are not covered by forward currency contracts.
Swaps, Caps, Floors and Collars: A fund may enter into swaps, caps, floors and collars to preserve a return or a spread on a particular investment or portion of its portfolio, to protect against any increase in the price of securities the fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, to attempt to enhance yield or total return, or as a substitute for other investments. A swap typically involves the exchange by a fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive cash flows, e.g., an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed rate payments. The purchase of a cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the cap. The purchase of a floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the floor. A collar combines elements of a cap and a floor.
Swap agreements, including caps, floors and collars, can be individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors. Depending on their structure, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of a fund’s investments and its share price and yield because, and to the extent, these agreements affect a fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates, non-U.S. currency values, mortgage-backed or other security values, corporate borrowing rates or other factors such as security prices or inflation rates.
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Swap agreements will tend to shift a fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options.
If a counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of the agreement would be likely to decline, potentially resulting in losses.
A fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for investment purposes. As the seller in a credit default swap contract, a fund would be required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default by a third party, such as a U.S. or a non-U.S. corporate issuer, on the debt obligation. In return, a fund would receive from 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, a fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As the seller, a fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap which may be significantly larger than a fund’s cost to enter into the credit default swap.
A fund may purchase credit default swap contracts in order to hedge against the risk of default of debt securities held in its portfolio, in which case a fund would function as the counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph. This would involve the risk that the investment may expire worthless and would only generate income in the event of an actual default by the issuer of the underlying obligation (or, as applicable, a credit downgrade or other indication of financial instability). It would also involve credit risk – that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to a fund in the event of a default.
Contracts for Difference: A fund may enter into contracts for difference (“CFDs”). A CFD is a contract between two parties, typically described as “buyer” and “seller,” stipulating that the seller will pay to the buyer the difference between the current value of an asset and its value in the future. (If the difference is negative, then the buyer instead pays the seller.) In effect, CFDs are Financial Instruments that allow a fund to take synthetic long or synthetic short positions on underlying assets.
CFDs are subject to liquidity risk because the liquidity of the CFD is based on the liquidity of the underlying instrument, and are subject to counterparty risk, i.e., the risk that the counterparty to the CFD transaction may be unable or unwilling to make payments or to otherwise honor its financial obligations under the terms of the contract. To the extent that there is an imperfect correlation between the return on a fund’s obligation to its counterparty under the CFD and the return on related assets in its portfolio, the CFD transaction may increase the fund’s financial risk. CFDs, like many other Financial Instruments, involve the risk that, if the derivative security declines in value, additional margin would be required to maintain the margin level. The seller may require the fund to deposit additional sums to cover this, and this may be at short notice. If additional margin is not provided in time, the seller may liquidate the positions at a loss for which the fund is liable. CFDs are not registered with the SEC or any U.S. regulator, and are not subject to U.S. regulation.
Combined Positions: A fund may purchase and write options in combination with each other, or in combination with other Financial Instruments, to adjust the risk and return characteristics of its overall position. Because combined options positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.
Turnover: A fund’s derivatives activities may affect its turnover rate and brokerage commission payments. The exercise of calls or puts written by a fund, and the sale or purchase of futures contracts, may cause it to sell or purchase related investments, thus increasing its turnover rate. Once a fund has received an exercise notice on an option it has written, it cannot effect a closing transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver or receive the underlying securities at the exercise price. The exercise of puts purchased by a fund may also cause the sale of related investments, also increasing turnover; although such exercise is within a fund’s control, holding a protective put might cause it to sell the related investments for reasons that would not exist in the absence of the put. A fund will pay a brokerage commission each time it buys or sells a put or call or purchases or sells a futures contract. Such commissions may be higher than those that would apply to direct purchases or sales.
Roll Timing: A fund may engage in roll-timing strategies where the fund seeks to extend the expiration or maturity of a position, such as a forward contract, futures contract or to-be-announced (“TBA”) transaction, on an underlying asset by closing out the position before expiration and contemporaneously opening a new position with respect to the same underlying asset that has substantially similar terms except for a later expiration date. Such “rolls” enable the fund to maintain continuous investment exposure to an underlying asset beyond the expiration of the initial position without delivery of the underlying asset. Similarly, as certain standardized swap agreements transition from over-the-counter trading to mandatory exchange-trading and clearing due to the implementation of Dodd-Frank Act regulatory requirements, a fund may “roll” an existing over-the-counter swap agreement by closing out the position before expiration and contemporaneously entering into a new exchange-traded and cleared swap agreement on the same underlying asset with substantially similar terms except for a later expiration date. These types of new positions opened contemporaneous with the closing of an existing position on the same underlying asset with substantially similar terms are collectively referred to as “Roll Transactions.”
Foreign Securities
The following investments are subject to limitations as set forth in each fund’s investment restrictions and policies.
A fund may invest in foreign securities through the purchase of securities of foreign issuers or of American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and Fiduciary Depositary Receipts (“FDRs”) or other securities representing underlying shares of foreign companies.
The risks of investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers or issuers with significant exposure to non-U.S. markets may be related, among other things, to (i) differences in size, liquidity and volatility of, and the degree and manner of regulation of, the securities markets of certain non-U.S. markets compared to the securities markets in the U.S.; (ii) economic, political and social factors; and (iii) foreign exchange
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matters, such as restrictions on the repatriation of capital, fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which a fund’s portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, exchange control regulations and costs associated with currency exchange. The political and economic structures in certain foreign countries, particularly emerging markets and frontier markets, are expected to undergo significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries.
Unanticipated political or social developments may affect the values of a fund’s investments in such countries. The economies and securities and currency markets of many emerging markets have experienced significant disruption and declines. There can be no assurances that these economic and market disruptions will not continue.
Securities of some foreign companies are less liquid, and their prices are more volatile, than securities of comparable domestic companies. Certain foreign countries are known to experience long delays between the trade and settlement dates of securities purchased or sold resulting in increased exposure of a fund to market and foreign exchange fluctuations brought about by such delays, and to the corresponding negative impact on fund liquidity.
The interest payable on a fund’s foreign securities may be subject to foreign withholding taxes, which will reduce the fund’s return on its investments. In addition, the operating expenses of a fund making such investment can be expected to be higher than those of an investment company investing exclusively in U.S. securities, since the costs of investing in foreign securities, such as custodial costs, valuation costs and communication costs, are higher than the costs of investing exclusively in U.S. securities.
There may be less publicly available information about non-U.S. markets and issuers than is available with respect to U.S. securities and issuers. Non-U.S. companies generally are not subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. The trading markets for most non-U.S. securities are generally less liquid and subject to greater price volatility than the markets for comparable securities in the U.S. The markets for securities in frontier markets and certain emerging markets are in the earliest stages of their development. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in certain non-U.S. markets, including emerging countries, may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the U.S. In addition, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity. The less liquid a market, the more difficult it may be for a fund to accurately price its portfolio securities or to dispose of such securities at the times determined by a sub-adviser to be appropriate. The risks associated with reduced liquidity may be particularly acute in situations in which a fund’s operations require cash, such as in order to meet redemptions and to pay its expenses.
A fund may invest in securities of emerging market and frontier market countries. Emerging market countries typically have economic and political systems that are less fully developed, and that can be expected to be less stable. Frontier market countries generally have smaller economies and even less developed capital markets than emerging markets countries. These securities may be U.S. dollar denominated or non-U.S. dollar denominated and include: (a) debt obligations issued or guaranteed by foreign national, provincial, state, municipal or other governments with taxing authority or by their agencies or instrumentalities, including Brady Bonds; (b) debt obligations of supranational entities; (c) debt obligations (including dollar and non-dollar denominated) and other debt securities of foreign corporate issuers; and (d) non-dollar denominated debt obligations of U.S. corporate issuers. A fund may also invest in securities denominated in currencies of emerging market or frontier market countries. There is no minimum rating criteria for a fund’s investments in such securities.
Certain non-U.S. countries, including emerging markets and frontier markets, may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability. Such instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision making; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved economic, political and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; and (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection and conflict. Such economic, political and social instability could significantly disrupt the financial markets in such countries and the ability of the issuers in such countries to repay their obligations. In addition, it may be difficult for the fund to pursue claims against a foreign issuer in the courts of a foreign country. Investing in emerging countries also involves the risk of expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested. In the event of such expropriation, nationalization or other confiscation in any emerging country, a fund could lose its entire investment in that country. Certain emerging market countries restrict or control foreign investment in their securities markets to varying degrees. These restrictions may limit a fund’s investment in those markets and may increase the expenses of a fund. In addition, the repatriation of both investment income and capital from certain markets in the region is subject to restrictions such as the need for certain governmental consents. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect certain aspects of a fund’s operation. Economies in individual non-U.S. countries may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rates of inflation, currency valuation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments positions. Many non-U.S. countries have experienced substantial, and in some cases extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, very negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging countries. Economies in emerging countries generally are dependent heavily upon international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade. These economies also have been, and may continue to be, affected adversely and significantly by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
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Custodian services and other costs relating to investment in international securities markets generally are more expensive than in the U.S. Such markets have settlement and clearance procedures that differ from those in the U.S. In certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. The inability of a fund to make intended securities purchases because of settlement problems could cause a fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of a portfolio security caused by settlement problems could result either in losses to a fund because of a subsequent decline in value of the portfolio security or could result in possible liability to the fund. In addition, security settlement and clearance procedures in some emerging countries may not fully protect a fund against loss or theft of its assets.
A fund may be subject to taxes, including withholding taxes imposed by certain non-U.S. countries on income (possibly including, in some cases, capital gains) earned with respect to the fund’s investments in such countries. These taxes will reduce the return achieved by a fund. Treaties between the U.S. and such countries may reduce the otherwise applicable tax rates.
The value of the securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies may be adversely affected by fluctuations in the relative currency exchange rates and by exchange control regulations. A fund’s investment performance may be negatively affected by a devaluation of a currency in which the fund’s investments are quoted or denominated. Further, a fund’s investment performance may be significantly affected, either positively or negatively, by currency exchange rates because the U.S. dollar value of securities quoted or denominated in another currency will increase or decrease in response to changes in the value of such currency in relation to the U.S. dollar.
The rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar and other currencies is determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets. Changes in the exchange rate may result over time from the interaction of many factors directly or indirectly affecting economic conditions and political developments in other countries. Of particular importance are rates of inflation, interest rate levels, the balance of payments and the extent of government surpluses or deficits in the U.S. and the particular foreign country. All these factors are in turn sensitive to the monetary, fiscal and trade policies pursued by the governments of the U.S. and other foreign countries important to international trade and finance. Government intervention may also play a significant role. National governments rarely voluntarily allow their currencies to float freely in response to economic forces. Sovereign governments use a variety of techniques, such as intervention by a country’s central bank or imposition of regulatory controls or taxes, to affect the exchange rates of their currencies.
ADRs, EDRs and GDRs: A fund may also purchase ADRs, American Depositary Debentures, American Depositary Notes, American Depositary Bonds, EDRs, GDRs and FDRs, or other securities representing underlying shares of foreign companies. ADRs are publicly traded on exchanges or over-the-counter in the U.S. and are issued through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” arrangements. In a sponsored ADR arrangement, the foreign issuer assumes the obligation to pay some or all of the depository’s transaction fees, whereas under an unsponsored arrangement, the foreign issuer assumes no obligation and the depository’s transaction fees are paid by the ADR holders. In addition, less information is available in the U.S. 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. A fund may invest in ADRs through both sponsored and unsponsored arrangements. EDRs and GDRs are securities that are typically issued by foreign banks or foreign trust companies, although U.S. banks or U.S. trust companies may issue them. EDRs and GDRs are structured similarly to the arrangements of ADRs. EDRs, in bearer form, are designed for use in European securities markets.
Eurodollar or Yankee Obligations: Eurodollar bank obligations are dollar denominated debt obligations issued outside the U.S. capital markets by foreign branches of U.S. banks and by foreign banks. Yankee obligations are dollar denominated obligations issued in the U.S. capital markets by foreign issuers. Eurodollar (and to a limited extent, Yankee) obligations are subject to certain sovereign risks. One such risk is the possibility that a foreign government might prevent dollar denominated funds from flowing across its borders. Other risks include: adverse political and economic developments in a foreign country; the extent and quality of government regulation of financial markets and institutions; the imposition of foreign withholding taxes; and expropriation or nationalization of foreign issuers.
Sovereign Government and Supranational Debt: A fund may invest in all types of debt securities of governmental issuers in all countries, including emerging markets. These sovereign debt securities may include: debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments, governmental agencies or instrumentalities and political subdivisions located in emerging market countries; debt securities issued by government owned, controlled or sponsored entities located in emerging market countries; interests in entities organized and operated for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers; Brady Bonds, which are debt securities issued under the framework of the Brady Plan as a means for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness; participations in loans between emerging market governments and financial institutions; or debt securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank or the European Economic Community. A supranational entity is a bank, commission or company established or financially supported by the national governments of one or more countries to promote reconstruction or development.
Sovereign debt is subject to risks in addition to those relating to non-U.S. investments generally. As a sovereign entity, the issuing government may be immune from lawsuits in the event of its failure or refusal to pay the obligations when due. The debtor’s willingness or ability to repay in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-U.S. reserves, the availability of sufficient non-U.S. exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders and the political constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Sovereign debtors may also be dependent on disbursements or assistance from foreign governments or multinational agencies, the country’s access to trade and other international credits, and the country’s balance of trade. Assistance may be dependent on a country’s implementation of austerity measures and reforms, which measures may limit or be perceived to limit economic growth and recovery. Some sovereign debtors
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have rescheduled their debt payments, declared moratoria on payments or restructured their debt to effectively eliminate portions of it, and similar occurrences may happen in the future. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which sovereign debt on which governmental entities have defaulted may be collected in whole or in part.
Russian Securities
A fund may invest directly in the securities of Russian issuers or may have indirect exposure to Russian securities through its investment in one or more funds with direct investments in Russia. Investment in those securities presents many of the same risks as investing in the securities of emerging country issuers, as described above. The social, political, legal, and operational risks of investing in Russian issuers, and of having assets held in custody within Russia, however, may be particularly pronounced relative to investments in more developed countries. Russia’s system of share registration and custody creates certain risks of loss (including the risk of total loss) that are not normally associated with investments in other securities markets.
A risk with respect to direct investment in Russian securities results from the way in which ownership of shares of companies is normally recorded. Ownership of shares (except where shares are held through depositories that meet the requirements of the 1940 Act) is defined according to entries in the company’s share register and normally evidenced by “share extracts” from the register or, in certain circumstances, by formal share certificates. However, there is no central registration system for shareholders and these services are carried out by the companies themselves or by registrars located throughout Russia. The share registrars are controlled by the issuer of the security, and investors are provided with few legal rights against such registrars. These registrars are not necessarily subject to effective state supervision, nor are they licensed with any governmental entity. It is possible for a fund to lose its registration through fraud, negligence, or even mere oversight. Each applicable fund will endeavor to ensure that its interest is appropriately recorded, which may involve a custodian or other agent inspecting the share register and obtaining extracts of share registers through regular confirmations. However, these extracts have no legal enforceability and it is possible that a subsequent illegal amendment or other fraudulent act may deprive a fund of its ownership rights or improperly dilute its interests. In addition, while applicable Russian regulations impose liability on registrars for losses resulting from their errors, it may be difficult for a fund to enforce any rights it may have against the registrar or issuer of the securities in the event of a loss of share registration. Further, significant delays or problems may occur in registering the transfer of securities, which could cause a fund to incur losses due to a counterparty’s failure to pay for securities the fund has delivered or the fund’s inability to complete its contractual obligations because of theft or other reasons.
Also, although a Russian public enterprise having a certain minimum number of shareholders is required by law to contract out the maintenance of its shareholder register to an independent entity that meets certain criteria, this regulation has not always been strictly enforced in practice. Because of this lack of independence, management of a company may be able to exert considerable influence over who can purchase and sell the company’s shares by illegally instructing the registrar to refuse to record transactions in the share register.
In addition, Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in the U.S., other countries and certain international organizations levying broad economic sanctions against Russia. These sanctions froze certain Russian assets and prohibited, among other things, trading in certain Russian securities and doing business with specific Russian corporate entities, large financial institutions, officials and oligarchs. The sanctions also included the removal of some Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), the electronic network that connects banks globally, and imposed restrictive measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from undermining the impact of the sanctions. The U.S. and other countries have also imposed economic sanctions on Belarus and may impose sanctions on other countries that support Russia’s military invasion. A number of large corporations and U.S. states have also announced plans to divest interests or otherwise curtail business dealings with certain Russian businesses. In addition, certain index providers have removed Russian securities from their indices. These actions and any additional sanctions or other intergovernmental actions that may be undertaken against Russia or other countries that support Russia’s military invasion in the future may result in the devaluation of Russian or other affected currencies, a downgrade in the sanctioned country’s credit rating, and a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and securities of issuers in other countries that support the invasion. In response to sanctions, the Russian Central Bank raised its interest rates and banned sales of local securities by foreigners. Russia may take additional countermeasures or retaliatory actions, which may also impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities and a fund’s investments. The potential for wider conflict may further decrease the value and liquidity of certain Russian securities and securities of issuers in other countries affected by the invasion. In addition, the ability to price, buy, sell, receive, or deliver such securities is also affected due to these measures. For example, a fund may be prohibited from investing in securities issued by companies subject to such sanctions. In addition, the sanctions and/or countermeasures taken by Russia in response to the sanctions may require a fund to freeze its existing investments in companies operating in or having dealings with Russia or other sanctioned countries, which would prevent a fund from selling these investments, and the value of such investments held by a fund could be significantly impacted, which could lead to such investments being valued at zero. Any exposure that a fund may have to Russian counterparties or counterparties in other sanctioned countries also could negatively impact a fund’s portfolio. The extent and duration of Russia’s military actions, including any retaliatory actions or countermeasures that may be taken by Russia or others subject to sanctions (such as cyberattacks on other governments, corporations or individuals, restricting natural gas or other exports to other countries, seizure of U.S. and European residents’ assets, or undertaking or provoking other military conflict elsewhere in Europe) are unpredictable, but could result in significant market disruptions. These and any related events could significantly impact a fund’s performance and the value of an investment in a fund even beyond any direct exposure a fund may have to Russian issuers or issuers in other countries affected by the invasion.
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Other Investments
Illiquid Investments
An illiquid investment is any investment that a fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Illiquid investments may be difficult to value, and a fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities promptly.
The sale of illiquid investments often requires more time and results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses than does the sale of securities eligible for trading on national securities exchanges or in the OTC markets. A fund may be restricted in its ability to sell such securities at a time when a fund’s sub-adviser deems it advisable to do so. In addition, in order to meet redemption requests, a fund may have to sell other assets, rather than such illiquid investments, at a time that is not advantageous.
Each fund monitors the portion of its total assets that are invested in illiquid investments on an ongoing basis, not only at the time of the investment in such securities.
Investments in the Real Estate Industry and Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)
REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in income producing real estate, or real estate related loans or interests. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with the applicable requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Debt securities issued by REITs, for the most part, are general and unsecured obligations and are subject to risks associated with REITs.
Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks in addition to those risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general. An equity REIT may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying properties owned by the REIT. A mortgage REIT may be affected by changes in interest rates and the ability of the issuers of its portfolio mortgages to repay their obligations. REITs are dependent upon the skills of their managers and are not diversified. REITs are generally dependent upon maintaining cash flows to repay borrowings and to make distributions to shareholders and are subject to the risk of default by lessees or borrowers. REITs whose underlying assets are concentrated in properties used by a particular industry, such as health care, are also subject to industry related risks.
REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risk. When interest rates decline, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. If the REIT invests in adjustable rate mortgage loans the interest rates on which are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates. This causes the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed rate obligations. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than larger company securities. Historically, REITs have been more volatile in price than the larger capitalization stocks included in the S&P 500 Index.
Certain funds may invest in foreign real estate companies, which are similar to entities organized and operated as REITs in the U.S. Foreign real estate companies may be subject to laws, rules and regulations governing those entities and their failure to comply with those laws, rules and regulations could negatively impact the performance of those entities. In addition, investments in REITs and foreign real estate companies may involve duplication of management fees and certain other expenses, and a fund indirectly bears its proportionate share of any expenses paid by REITs and foreign real estate companies in which it invests.
Commodities and Natural Resources
Commodities may include, among other things, oil, gas, timber, farm products, minerals, precious metals, for example, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and other natural resources. Certain funds may invest in companies (such as mining, dealing or transportation companies) with substantial exposure to, or instruments that result in exposure to, commodities markets. Commodities generally and particular commodities have, at times been subject to substantial price fluctuations over short periods of time and may be affected by unpredictable monetary and political policies such as currency devaluations or revaluations, economic and social conditions within a country, trade imbalances, or trade or currency restrictions between countries. The prices of commodities may be, however, less subject to local and company-specific factors than securities of individual companies. As a result, commodity prices may be more or less volatile in price than securities of companies engaged in commodity-related businesses. Investments in commodities can present concerns such as delivery, storage and maintenance, possible illiquidity, and the unavailability of accurate market valuations.
Commodity-Linked Investments
A fund may seek to provide exposure to the investment returns of real assets that trade in the commodity markets through investments in commodity-linked investments, including commodities futures contracts, commodity-linked derivatives, and commodity-linked notes. Real assets are assets such as oil, gas, industrial and precious metals, livestock, and agricultural or meat products, or other items that have tangible properties, as compared to stocks or bonds, which are financial instruments. The value of commodity-linked investments held by a fund may be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, overall market movements and other factors affecting the value of particular industries or commodities, such as weather, disease, embargoes, acts of war or terrorism, or political and regulatory developments.
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The prices of commodity-linked investments may move in different directions than investments in traditional equity and debt securities when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions. As an example, during periods of rising inflation, debt securities have historically tended to decline in value due to the general increase in prevailing interest rates. Conversely, during those same periods of rising inflation, the prices of certain commodities, such as oil and metals, have historically tended to increase. Of course, there cannot be any guarantee that these investments will perform in that manner in the future, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked investments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities. Commodities have historically tended to increase and decrease in value during different parts of the business cycle than financial assets. Nevertheless, at various times, commodities prices may move in tandem with the prices of financial assets and thus may not provide overall fund diversification benefits. Under favorable economic conditions, a fund's commodity-linked investments may be expected to underperform an investment in traditional securities.
Hybrid Instruments
Hybrid instruments combine the elements of futures contracts or options with those of debt, preferred equity or a depository instrument. Often these hybrid instruments are indexed to the price of a commodity, particular currency, or a domestic or foreign debt or equity securities index. Hybrid instruments may take a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, debt instruments with interest or principal payments or redemption terms determined by reference to the value of a currency or commodity or securities index at a future point in time, preferred stock with dividend rates determined by reference to the value of a currency, or convertible securities with the conversion terms related to a particular commodity. Hybrid instruments may bear interest or pay dividends at below-market (or even relatively nominal) rates. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of such an instrument could be zero. Hybrid instruments are normally at the bottom of an issuer’s debt capital structure. As such, they may be more sensitive to economic changes than more senior debt securities. These securities may also be viewed as more equity-like by the market when the issuer or its parent company experience financial problems. Hybrid instruments can have volatile prices and limited liquidity, and their use may not be successful.
Trade Claims
Trade claims are non-securitized rights of payment arising from obligations that typically arise when vendors and suppliers extend credit to a company by offering payment terms for products and services. If the company files for bankruptcy, payments on these trade claims stop and the claims are subject to compromise along with the other debts of the company. Trade claims may be purchased directly from the creditor or through brokers. There is no guarantee that a debtor will ever be able to satisfy its trade claim obligations. Trade claims are speculative and are subject to the risks associated with low-quality obligations.
Passive Foreign Investment Companies
Certain foreign entities called passive foreign investment companies have been the only or primary way to invest in certain countries. In addition to bearing their proportionate share of a fund’s expenses (management fees and operating expenses), shareholders will also indirectly bear similar expenses of passive foreign investment companies in which the fund invests. Capital gains on the sale of such holdings are considered ordinary income regardless of how long the fund held its investment. In addition, the shareholders may be subject to corporate income tax and an interest charge on certain dividends and capital gains earned by a fund from these investments.
To avoid such tax and interest, a fund generally intends to treat these securities as sold on the last day of its fiscal year and recognize any gains for tax purposes at that time; deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any gains resulting from these deemed sales for prior taxable years. Such gains and losses will be treated as ordinary income.
Master Limited Partnerships
Master Limited Partnership (“MLPs”) are limited partnerships whose shares (or units) are listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange, just like common stock. To qualify for tax treatment as a partnership, an MLP must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources such as natural resource activities. Natural resource activities include the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of mineral or natural resources. MLPs generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners. The general partner, which is generally a major energy company, investment fund or the management of the MLP, typically controls the MLP through a 2% general partner equity interest in the MLP plus common units and subordinated units. Limited partners own the remainder of the partnership, through ownership of common units, and have a limited role in the partnership’s operations and management.
MLPs are typically structured such that common units have first priority to receive quarterly cash distributions up to an established minimum quarterly dividend (“MQD”). Common units also accrue arrearages in distributions to the extent the MQD is not paid. Once common units have been paid, subordinated units receive distributions of up to the MQD, but subordinated units do not accrue arrearages. Distributable cash in excess of the MQD paid to both common and subordinated units is distributed to both common and subordinated units generally on a pro rata basis. The general partner is also eligible to receive incentive distributions if the general partner operates the business in a manner which maximizes value to unit holders. As the general partner increases cash distributions to the limited partners, the general partner receives an increasingly higher percentage of the incremental cash distributions. A common arrangement provides that the general partner can reach a tier where the general partner is receiving 50% of every incremental dollar paid to common and subordinated unit holders. By providing for incentive distributions the general partner is encouraged to streamline costs and acquire assets in order to grow the partnership, increase the partnership’s cash flow, and raise the quarterly cash distribution in order to reach higher tiers. Such results benefit all security holders of the MLP.
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MLP I-Shares
I-Shares represent an ownership interest issued by an affiliated party of an MLP. The MLP affiliate issuing the I-Shares is structured as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. I-Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the NYSE AMEX. The MLP affiliate uses the proceeds from the sale of I-Shares to purchase limited partnership interests in the MLP in the form of i-units. i-units generally receive no allocations of income, gain, loss or deduction unless and until the MLP is liquidated. In addition, rather than receiving cash distributions, the MLP affiliate receives additional i-units based on a formula. Similarly, holders of I-Shares will receive additional I-Shares, in the same proportion as the MLP affiliates’ receipt of i-units, rather than cash distributions. Distributions of additional i-units and of additional I-Shares generally are not taxable events for the MLP affiliate and the holder of the I-Shares, respectively. I-Shares themselves have limited voting rights which are similar to those applicable to MLP common units.
Energy Infrastructure Companies
Companies engaged in the energy infrastructure sector principally include publicly-traded MLPs and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, MLP affiliates, Canadian income trusts and their successor companies, pipeline companies, utilities, and other companies that derive a substantial portion of their revenues from operating or providing services in support of infrastructure assets such as pipelines, power transmission and petroleum and natural gas storage in the petroleum, natural gas and power generation industries (collectively, “Energy Infrastructure Companies”).
Energy Infrastructure Companies may be directly affected by energy commodity prices, especially those Energy Infrastructure Companies which own the underlying energy commodity. Commodity prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in market and economic conditions, the impact of weather on demand, levels of domestic production and imported commodities, energy conservation, domestic and foreign governmental regulation and taxation and the availability of local, intrastate and interstate transportation systems.
A decrease in the production or availability of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, coal or other energy commodities or a decrease in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of Energy Infrastructure Companies. In addition, Energy Infrastructure Companies engaged in the production of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum products or coal are subject to the risk that their commodity reserves naturally deplete over time.
Energy Infrastructure Companies are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for products and services. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of Energy Infrastructure Companies.
Natural disasters, such as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, also may impact Energy Infrastructure Companies.
Other Investment Companies
Subject to applicable statutory and regulatory limitations, a fund may invest in shares of other investment companies, including shares of other mutual funds, closed-end funds, and unregistered investment companies. Pursuant to a statutory exemption or an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, a fund may invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits prescribed by the 1940 Act. The SEC recently adopted certain regulatory changes and took other actions related to the ability of an investment company to invest in the securities of another investment company. These changes include, among other things, the rescission of certain SEC exemptive orders permitting investments in excess of the statutory limits and the withdrawal of certain related SEC staff no-action letters, and the adoption of Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act. Effective January 19, 2022, new Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act permits registered investment companies to invest in other registered investment companies beyond the limits in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain conditions, including that the fund enter into a fund of funds investment agreement.
Investments in other investment companies are subject to the risk of the securities in which those investment companies invest. In addition, to the extent a fund invests in securities of other investment companies, fund shareholders would indirectly pay a portion of the operating costs of such companies in addition to the expenses of a fund’s own operation. These costs include management, brokerage, shareholder servicing and other operational expenses.
Certain sub-advisers have received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting funds that are sub-advised by the sub-adviser to invest in affiliated registered money market funds and ETFs, and in an affiliated private investment company; provided however, that, among other limitations, in all cases the fund’s aggregate investment of cash in shares of such investment companies shall not exceed 25% of its total assets at any time.
Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”)
ETFs are typically registered investment companies whose securities are traded over an exchange at their market price. ETFs generally represent a portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market index or other group of securities. Other ETFs are actively managed and seek to achieve a stated objective by investing in a portfolio of securities and other assets. A fund may purchase an ETF to temporarily gain exposure to a portion of the U.S. or a foreign market pending the purchase of individual securities. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities, although the potential lack of liquidity of an ETF could result in it being more volatile.
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There is also a risk that the general level of securities prices may decline, thereby adversely affecting the value of ETFs invested in by a fund. Moreover, a fund’s investments in index-based ETFs may not exactly match the performance of a direct investment in the respective indices or portfolios of securities to which they are intended to correspond due to the temporary unavailability of certain index securities in the secondary market or other factors, such as discrepancies with respect to the weighting of securities. Additionally, ETFs have management fees which increase their costs.
Unlike shares of typical mutual funds or unit investment trusts, shares of ETFs are designed to be traded throughout a trading day, bought and sold based on market values and not at net asset value. For this reason, shares could trade at either a premium or discount to net asset value. However, the funds held by index-based ETFs are publicly disclosed on each trading day, and an approximation of actual net asset value is disseminated throughout the trading day. Because of this transparency, the trading prices of index based ETFs tend to closely track the actual net asset value of the underlying portfolios and a fund will generally gain or lose value depending on the performance of the index. However, gains or losses on a fund’s investment in ETFs will ultimately depend on the purchase and sale price of the ETF. A fund may invest in ETFs that are actively managed. Actively managed ETFs do not have the transparency of index-based ETFs, and also therefore, are more likely to trade at a discount or premium to actual net asset values.
Exchange-Traded Notes (“ETNs”)
ETNs are generally notes representing debt of the issuer, usually a financial institution. ETNs combine both aspects of bonds and ETFs. An ETN’s returns are based on the performance of one or more underlying assets, reference rates or indexes, minus fees and expenses. Similar to ETFs, ETNs are listed on an exchange and traded in the secondary market. However, unlike an ETF, an ETN can be held until the ETN’s maturity, at which time the issuer will pay a return linked to the performance of the specific asset, index or rate (“reference instrument”) to which the ETN is linked minus certain fees. Unlike regular bonds, ETNs do not make periodic interest payments, and principal is not protected. ETNs are not registered or regulated as investment companies under the 1940 Act.
The value of an ETN may be influenced by, among other things, time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying markets, changes in the applicable interest rates, the performance of the reference instrument, changes in the issuer’s credit rating and economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the reference instrument. An ETN that is tied to a reference instrument may not replicate the performance of the reference instrument. ETNs also incur certain expenses not incurred by their applicable reference instrument. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid and, thus, they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Levered ETNs are subject to the same risk as other instruments that use leverage in any form. While leverage allows for greater potential return, the potential for loss is also greater. Finally, additional losses may be incurred if the investment loses value because, in addition to the money lost on the investment, the loan still needs to be repaid.
Because the return on the ETN is dependent on the issuer’s ability or willingness to meet its obligations, the value of the ETN may change due to a change in the issuer’s credit rating, despite no change in the underlying reference instrument. The market value of ETN shares may differ from the value of the reference instrument. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETN shares at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the assets underlying the reference instrument that the ETN seeks to track.
There may be restrictions on a fund’s right to redeem its investment in an ETN, which are generally meant to be held until maturity. The fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. An investor in an ETN could lose some or all of the amount invested. The timing and character of income and gains derived from ETNs is under consideration by the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and may also be affected by future legislation.
Dollar Roll Transactions
“Dollar roll” transactions consist of the sale by a fund to a bank or broker-dealer (the “counterparty”) of Ginnie Mae certificates or other mortgage-backed securities together with a commitment to purchase from the counterparty similar, but not identical, securities at a future date. The counterparty receives all principal and interest payments, including prepayments, made on the security while it is the holder. A fund receives a fee from the counterparty as consideration for entering into the commitment to purchase. Dollar rolls may be renewed over a period of several months with a different repurchase price and a cash settlement made at each renewal without physical delivery of securities. Moreover, the transaction may be preceded by a firm commitment agreement pursuant to which a fund agrees to buy a security on a future date. A fund will not use such transactions for leveraging purposes.
The entry into dollar rolls involves potential risks of loss that are different from those related to the securities underlying the transactions. For example, if the counterparty becomes insolvent, a fund’s right to purchase from the counterparty might be restricted. In addition, the value of such securities may change adversely before a fund is able to purchase them. Similarly, a fund may be required to purchase securities in connection with a dollar roll at a higher price than may otherwise be available on the open market. Since, as noted above, the counterparty is required to deliver a similar, but not identical, security to a fund, the security that the fund is required to buy under the dollar roll may be worth less than an identical security. Finally, there can be no assurance that a fund’s use of the cash that it receives from a dollar roll will provide a return that exceeds the transaction costs.
Short Sales
In short selling transactions, a fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the price of the security will decline. The fund must borrow the same security and deliver it to the buyer to complete the sale. The fund will incur a profit or a loss, depending upon whether the market price of the security decreases or increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the fund must replace the
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borrowed security. Unlike taking a long position in a security by purchasing the security, where potential losses are limited to the purchase price, possible losses from short sales may, theoretically, be unlimited (e.g., if the price of a stock sold short rises) and a fund may be unable to replace a borrowed security sold short. A fund also may be unable to close out an established short position at an acceptable price and may have to sell long positions at disadvantageous times to cover its short positions.
Short sales also involve other costs. A fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and is often obligated to turn over any payments received on such borrowed securities to the lender of the securities. A fund secures its obligation to replace the borrowed security by depositing collateral with the lender or its custodian or qualified sub-custodian, usually in cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid securities similar to those borrowed. All short sales will be fully collateralized.
A fund may sell securities “short against the box.” In short sales “against the box,” the fund, at all times when the short position is open, owns an equal amount of the securities sold short or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. When selling short against the box, if the price of such securities were to increase rather than decrease, the fund would forgo the potential realization of the increased value of the shares sold short.
International Agency Obligations
Bonds, notes or Eurobonds of international agencies include securities issued by the Asian Development Bank, the European Economic Community, and the European Investment Bank. A fund may also purchase obligations of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development which, while technically not a U.S. government agency or instrumentality, has the right to borrow from the participating countries, including the U.S.
When-Issued, Delayed Settlement and Forward Delivery Securities
Securities may be purchased and sold on a “when-issued,” “delayed settlement” or “forward (delayed) delivery” basis. “When-issued” or “forward delivery” refers to securities whose terms are available, and for which a market exists, but which are not available for immediate delivery. When-issued or forward delivery transactions may be expected to occur a month or more before delivery is due.
A fund may engage in when-issued or forward delivery transactions to obtain what is considered to be an advantageous price and yield at the time of the transaction. When a fund engages in when-issued or forward delivery transactions, it will do so consistent with its investment objective and policies and not for the purpose of investment leverage (although leverage may result).
“Delayed settlement” is a term used to describe settlement of a securities transaction in the secondary market that will occur sometime in the future. No payment or delivery is made by a fund until it receives payment or delivery from the other party to any of the above transactions.
New issues of stocks and bonds, private placements and U.S. government securities may be sold in this manner.
At the time of settlement, the market value and/or the yield of the security may be more or less than the purchase price. A fund bears the risk of such market value fluctuations. These transactions also involve the risk that the other party to the transaction may defaults on its obligation to make payment or delivery. As a result, a fund may be delayed or prevented from completing the transaction and may incur additional costs as a consequence of the delay.
Additional Information
Temporary Defensive Position
At times a fund’s sub-adviser may judge that conditions in the securities markets make pursuing the fund’s typical investment strategy inconsistent with the best interest of its shareholders. At such times, a sub-adviser may temporarily use alternative strategies, primarily designed to reduce fluctuations in the value of the fund’s assets. In implementing these defensive strategies, a fund may invest without limit in securities that a sub-adviser believes present less risk to a fund, including equity securities, debt and fixed-income securities, preferred stocks, U.S. government and agency obligations, cash or money market instruments, CDs, demand and time deposits, bankers’ acceptance or other securities a sub-adviser considers consistent with such defensive strategies, such as, but not limited to, options, futures, warrants or swaps. During periods in which such strategies are used, the duration of a fund may diverge from the duration range for that fund disclosed in its prospectus (if applicable). It is impossible to predict when, or for how long, a fund will use these alternative strategies. As a result of using these alternative strategies, a fund may not achieve its investment objective.
Borrowings
A fund may engage in borrowing transactions as a means of raising cash to satisfy redemption requests, for other temporary or emergency purposes or, to the extent permitted by its investment policies, to raise additional cash to be invested by the fund’s portfolio managers in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the fund’s investment returns.
When a fund invests borrowing proceeds in other securities, the fund will bear the risk that the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested goes down and is insufficient to repay borrowed proceeds. Like other leveraging risks, this makes the value of an investment in a fund more volatile and increases the fund’s overall investment exposure. In addition, if a fund’s return on its investment of the borrowing proceeds does not equal or exceed the interest that a fund is obligated to pay under the terms of a borrowing, engaging in these transactions will lower the fund’s return.
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A fund may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its borrowing obligations. This could adversely affect the portfolio managers’ strategy and result in lower fund returns. Interest on any borrowings will be a fund expense and will reduce the value of a fund’s shares.
A fund may borrow on a secured or on an unsecured basis. If a fund enters into a secured borrowing arrangement, a portion of the fund’s assets will be used as collateral. During the term of the borrowing, the fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of these assets in addition to any securities purchased with the proceeds of the loan. In addition, a fund may be unable to sell the collateral at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, which could adversely affect the portfolio managers’ strategy and result in lower fund returns. The fund would also be subject to the risk that the lender may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent, or otherwise default on its obligations to return the collateral to the fund. In the event of a default by the lender, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in a fund’s exercising its rights with respect to the collateral or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.
The 1940 Act requires a fund to maintain at all times an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the fund’s total assets, minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Although complying with this guideline would have the effect of limiting the amount that the fund may borrow, it does not otherwise mitigate the risks of entering into borrowing transactions.
Interfund Lending
To satisfy redemption requests or to cover unanticipated cash shortfalls, a fund may enter into lending agreements (“Interfund Lending Agreements”) under which the fund would lend money and borrow money for temporary purposes directly to and from another Transamerica fund through a credit facility (“Interfund Loan”), subject to meeting the conditions of an SEC exemptive order granted to TAM and the Trust permitting such interfund lending. All Interfund Loans will consist only of uninvested cash reserves that the fund otherwise would invest in repurchase agreements or other short-term instruments.
If a fund has outstanding borrowings, any Interfund Loans to the fund (a) will be at an interest rate equal to or lower than any outstanding bank loan, (b) will be secured at least on an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding bank loan that requires collateral, (c) will have a maturity no longer than any outstanding bank loan (and in any event not over seven days), and (d) will provide that, if an event of default occurs under any agreement evidencing an outstanding bank loan to the fund, the event of default will automatically (without need for action or notice by the lending fund) constitute an immediate event of default under the Interfund Lending Agreement entitling the lending fund to call the Interfund Loan (and exercise all rights with respect to any collateral) and that such call will be made if the lending bank exercises its right to call its loan under its agreement with the borrowing fund.
A fund may make an unsecured borrowing through the credit facility if its outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the interfund borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets; provided, that if the fund has a secured loan outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another Transamerica fund, the fund’s interfund borrowing will be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding loan that requires collateral. If a fund’s total outstanding borrowings immediately after an interfund borrowing would be greater than 10% of its total assets, the fund may borrow through the credit facility on a secured basis only. A fund may not borrow through the credit facility nor from any other source if its total outstanding borrowings immediately after the interfund borrowing would be more than 33 13% of its total assets.
No fund may lend to another fund through the interfund lending credit facility if the loan would cause its aggregate outstanding loans through the credit facility to exceed 15% of the lending fund’s net assets at the time of the loan. A fund’s Interfund Loans to any one fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending fund’s net assets. The duration of Interfund Loans is limited to the time required to receive payment for securities sold, but in no event more than seven days. Loans effected within seven days of each other will be treated as separate loan transactions for purposes of this condition. Each Interfund Loan may be called on one business day’s notice by a lending fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing fund.
The limitations detailed above and the other conditions of the SEC exemptive order permitting interfund lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund lending for both the lending fund and the borrowing fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. When a fund borrows money from another fund, there is a risk that the loan could be called on one day’s notice or not renewed, in which case the fund may have to borrow from a bank at higher rates (if such borrowing is available) or sell securities at a loss if an Interfund Loan were not available from another fund. A delay in repayment to a lending fund could result in a lost opportunity or additional lending costs.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements
A reverse repurchase agreement has the characteristics of a secured borrowing and creates leverage. In a reverse repurchase transaction, a fund sells a portfolio instrument to another person, such as a financial institution or broker/dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, a fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed-upon time and at a price that is greater than the amount of cash that the fund received when it sold the instrument, representing the equivalent of an interest payment by the fund for the use of the cash. During the term of the transaction, a fund will continue to receive any principal and interest payments (or the equivalent thereof) on the underlying instruments.
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A fund may engage in reverse repurchase agreements as a means of raising cash to satisfy redemption requests or for other temporary or emergency purposes. Unless otherwise limited in its prospectus or this SAI, a fund may also engage in reverse repurchase agreements to the extent permitted by its fundamental investment policies in order to raise additional cash to be invested by the fund’s portfolio managers in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the fund’s investment returns.
During the term of the transaction, a fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement as if it had not entered into the transaction. When a fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement in other securities, the fund will bear the risk that the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested goes down and is insufficient to satisfy the fund’s obligations under the reverse repurchase agreement. Like other leveraging risks, this makes the value of an investment in a fund more volatile and increases the fund’s overall investment exposure. This could also result in the fund having to dispose of investments at inopportune times and at disadvantageous amounts. In addition, if a fund’s return on its investment of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement does not equal or exceed the implied interest that it is obligated to pay under the reverse repurchase agreement, engaging in the transaction will lower the fund’s return.
When a fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it is subject to the risk that the buyer under the agreement may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent, or otherwise default on its obligations to the fund. In the event of a default by the counterparty, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in a fund’s exercising its rights under the agreement, or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.
In addition, a fund may be unable to sell the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, or may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its obligations under a reverse repurchase agreement. This could adversely affect the portfolio managers’ strategy and result in losses.
Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act permits a fund to enter into reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions (e.g., recourse and non-recourse tender option bonds, borrowed bonds) notwithstanding the limitation on the issuance of senior securities in Section 18 of the 1940 Act, provided that the fund either (i) complies with the 300% asset coverage ratio with respect to such transactions and any other borrowings in the aggregate, or (ii) treats such transactions as “derivatives transactions” under Rule 18f-4. See “Derivatives”.
Lending
Consistent with applicable regulatory requirements and the limitations as set forth in each fund's investment restrictions and policies, a fund may lend portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial organizations meeting capital and other credit requirements or other criteria established by the Board. Loans of securities will be secured continuously by collateral in cash or U.S. government or agency securities maintained on a current basis at an amount at least equal to the market value of the securities loaned. Cash collateral received by a fund will be invested in high quality short-term instruments, or in one or more funds maintained by the lending agent for the purpose of investing cash collateral. During the term of the loan, a fund will continue to have investment risk with respect to the security loaned, as well as risk with respect to the investment of the cash collateral. Either party has the right to terminate a loan at any time on customary industry settlement notice (which will not usually exceed three business days). During the existence of a loan, a fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest or dividends paid by the issuer on the securities loaned and, with respect to cash collateral, will receive any income generated by the fund’s investment of the collateral (subject to a rebate payable to the borrower and a percentage of the income payable to the lending agent). Where the borrower provides a fund with collateral other than cash, the borrower is also obligated to pay the fund a fee for use of the borrowed securities. A fund does not have the right to vote any securities having voting rights during the existence of the loan, but would retain the right to call the loan in anticipation of an important vote to be taken among holders of the securities or of the giving or withholding of their consent on a material matter affecting the investment. As with other extensions of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery or even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. In addition, a fund could suffer loss if the loan terminates and the fund is forced to liquidate investments at a loss in order to return the cash collateral to the buyer.
Voluntary Actions
From time to time, a fund may voluntarily participate in actions (for example, rights offerings, conversion privileges, exchange offers, credit event settlements, etc.) where the issuer or counterparty offers securities or instruments to holders or counterparties, such as a fund, and the acquisition is determined to be beneficial to fund shareholders (“Voluntary Action”). Notwithstanding any percentage investment limitation listed under this section or any percentage investment limitation of the 1940 Act or rules thereunder, if a fund has the opportunity to acquire a permitted security or instrument through a Voluntary Action, and the fund will exceed a percentage investment limitation following the acquisition, it will not constitute a violation if, after announcement of the offering, but prior to the receipt of the securities or instruments, the fund sells an offsetting amount of assets that are subject to the investment limitation in question at least equal to the value of the securities or instruments to be acquired.
Cybersecurity
With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet to conduct business, a fund is susceptible to operational, information security and related risks through breaches in cybersecurity. In general, a breach in cybersecurity can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber attacks include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on
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websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber incidents affecting a fund’s investment adviser, sub-adviser and other service providers (including, but not limited to, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and financial intermediaries) have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, interference with a fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, impediments to trading, the inability of fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. Similar adverse consequences could result from cyber incidents affecting issuers of securities in which a fund invests, counterparties with which a fund engages in transactions, governmental and other regulatory authorities, exchange and other financial market operators, banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies and other financial institutions (including financial intermediaries and service providers for fund shareholders) and other parties. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. While a fund’s service providers have established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber incidents, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been adequately identified or prepared for. Furthermore, a fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by its service providers or any other third parties whose operations may affect the fund or its shareholders. Cybersecurity risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the fund invests, which may cause the fund’s investments in such issuers to lose value. A fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
Portfolio Turnover
Portfolio turnover rate is, in general, the percentage calculated by taking the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities (excluding short-term securities) for a year and dividing it by the monthly average of the market value of such securities held during the year.
Changes in security holdings are made by a fund’s investment manager or sub-adviser when it is deemed necessary. Such changes may result from: liquidity needs; securities having reached a price or yield objective; anticipated changes in interest rates or the credit standing of an issuer; or developments not foreseen at the time of the investment decision.
The investment manager or a sub-adviser may engage in a significant number of short-term transactions if such investing serves a fund’s objective. The rate of portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor when such short-term investing is considered appropriate. Increased turnover results in higher brokerage costs or mark-up charges for a fund; these charges are ultimately borne by the shareholders.
In computing the portfolio turnover rate, securities whose maturities or expiration dates at the time of acquisition are one year or less are excluded. Subject to this exclusion, the turnover rate for a fund is calculated by dividing (a) the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by (b) the monthly average of portfolio securities owned by the fund during the fiscal year.
There are no fixed limitations regarding the portfolio turnover rates of the funds. Portfolio turnover rates are expected to fluctuate under constantly changing economic conditions and market circumstances. Higher turnover rates tend to result in higher brokerage fees. Securities initially satisfying the basic policies and objective of a fund may be disposed of when they are no longer deemed suitable.
The following fund had a significant variation in its portfolio turnover rate over the fiscal years ended October 31, 2021 and October 31, 2022:
Transamerica Small Cap Value had decreased trading in 2022, leading to a lower turnover rate for that year.
Historical turnover rates are included in the Financial Highlights tables in the prospectus.
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
It is the policy of the funds to protect the confidentiality of their portfolio holdings and prevent the selective disclosure of non-public information about portfolio holdings. The funds’ service providers are required to comply with this policy. No non-public information concerning the portfolio holdings of the funds may be disclosed to any unaffiliated third party, except as provided below. The Board has adopted formal procedures governing compliance with these policies.
The funds believe the policy is in the best interests of each fund and its shareholders and that it strikes an appropriate balance between the desire of investors for information about the funds’ portfolio holdings and the need to protect the funds from potentially harmful disclosures. Any conflicts of interest between the interests of fund shareholders and those of TAM or its affiliates are addressed in a manner that places the interests of fund shareholders first.
Information concerning the funds’ holdings is available via the funds’ website at: www.transamerica.com/investments/mutual-funds. The funds generally make publicly available their complete portfolio holdings no sooner than 15 days after month-end. Such information generally remains on the website for 6 months, or as otherwise consistent with applicable regulations.
The funds’ semi-annual reports and annual reports contain a complete listing of each fund’s holdings as of the end of the fund’s second and fourth fiscal quarters. This information is also available in reports filed with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Each fiscal quarter, each non-money market fund will file with the SEC a complete schedule of its monthly portfolio holdings on “Form N-PORT”, with quarter-end disclosures being made public 60 days after the end of each fiscal quarter.
Transamerica Government Money Market files monthly a schedule of portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-MFP. The information filed on Form N-MFP is made available to the public by the SEC 60 days after the end of the month to which the information pertains. A
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schedule of portfolio holdings for Transamerica Government Money Market is posted each month to the fund’s website in accordance with Rule 2a-7(c)(12) under the 1940 Act. The Form N-PORT and Form N-MFP reports are also available, free of charge, on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
In addition, the funds may release via the funds’ website at www.transamerica.com/investments/mutual-funds the following information concerning a fund before disclosure of the fund’s full portfolio holdings is made publicly available:
Top Ten Holdings – A fund’s top ten holdings and the total percentage of the fund such aggregate holdings represent.
Sector Holdings – A fund’s sector information and the total percentage of the fund held in each sector.
Other Portfolio Characteristic Data – Any other analytical data with respect to a fund that does not identify any specific portfolio holdings.
Funds of ETFs and Funds of Funds – For any fund whose investments (other than cash alternatives) consist solely of shares of ETFs and/or other Funds, no sooner than 10 days after the end of a month the names of the ETFs or Funds held as of the end of that month and the percentage of the fund’s net assets held in each ETF or Fund as of the end of that month.
Mutual fund rating and ranking organizations such as FactSet, Lipper, Inc. and Morningstar, Inc., or consultants and/or other financial industry institutions such as Bloomberg L.P., and eVestment may request a complete list of non-public portfolio holdings in order to rank or rate a fund or to assess the risks of a fund or otherwise and/or to produce related performance attribution statistics. Similarly, an intermediary may be provided with non-public portfolio holdings in order to allow the intermediary to prepare the portfolio holdings information for shareholders on a timely basis. Portfolio holdings information released to these parties is the same portfolio holdings posted to the funds’ website each month and is subject to the guidelines discussed below. Pursuant to the policy, TAM may disclose a complete list of each fund’s holdings to any person on a monthly basis after the holdings are posted to the funds’ website, usually 15 days after month-end.
The funds may also from time to time provide or make available to third parties upon request specific fund level performance attribution information and statistics. Third parties may include fund shareholders or prospective fund shareholders, members of the press, consultants, and ratings and ranking organizations. Nonexclusive examples of performance attribution information and statistics may include (i) the allocation of the fund’s holdings and other investment positions among various asset classes, sectors, industries, and countries, (ii) the characteristics of the stock and bond components of the fund’s holdings and other investment positions, (iii) the attribution of fund returns by asset class, sector, industry, and country, (iv) performance attribution and other summary and statistical information that does not include identification of specific portfolio holdings (prior to such holdings becoming public), and (v) the volatility characteristics of the fund.
TAM’s Operational Risk Committee may approve a request for fund level performance attribution and statistics as long as (i) such disclosure does not enable the receiving party to recreate the complete or partial portfolio holdings of any fund prior to such fund’s public disclosure of its portfolio holdings and (ii) TAM has made a good faith determination that the requested information is not material given the particular facts and circumstances. TAM may deny any request for performance attribution information and other statistical information about a fund made by any person, and may do so for any reason or for no reason.
Disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information for a fund may only be provided pursuant to the guidelines below.
- Non-public portfolio holdings information may be provided at any time (and as frequently as daily) to the funds’ service providers, counterparties, and others who generally need access to such information in the performance of their contractual duties and responsibilities providing services to a fund for a legitimate business purpose, where such vendor or service provider is subject to a duty of confidentiality, including a duty to prohibit the vendor from sharing non-public information with an unauthorized source or trading upon any non-public information provided by TAM on behalf of a fund. These entities, parties, and persons include, but are not limited to: TAM, the sub-advisers, custodian, administrator, sub-administrator, transfer agent, sub-transfer agent, executing broker-dealers/counterparties in connection with the purchase or sale of securities or requests for price quotations or bids on one or more securities (including transition managers), research and analytics providers, securities lending agent, financial printer, banks, proxy voting services, pricing service vendors, regulatory authorities, independent public accountants, attorneys, and the funds’ officers and trustees, subject to a duty of confidentiality with respect to any portfolio holdings information. In addition, certain of the funds’ sub-advisers utilize middle- and back-office providers to fulfill their contractual duties and responsibilities to the funds. The disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information to such third parties generally will be subject to a requirement, by explicit agreement or by virtue of their respective duties to the funds, that those third parties maintain the confidentiality of such information.
- TAM receives non-public portfolio holdings information to assist in the selection of underlying funds for certain Transamerica asset allocation funds.
- Non-public portfolio holdings information for certain funds may be disclosed to the risk assessment department of Transamerica insurance companies solely to allow them to hedge their obligations under variable annuity and life products. Each applicable Transamerica insurance company has signed a confidentiality agreement.
- A fund may provide non-public portfolio holdings information to (i) third parties that calculate information derived from portfolio holdings for use by TAM, a sub-adviser, or their affiliates, and (ii) an investment adviser or sub-adviser, trustee, or their agents, or a potential replacement sub-adviser for a fund, to whom portfolio holdings are disclosed for proposal or due diligence purposes, prior to Board approval and implementation. Each individual request is reviewed by TAM’s Operational Risk Committee which must find, in its sole discretion that,
36

based on the specific facts and circumstances, the disclosure appears unlikely to be harmful to the applicable fund(s). Entities receiving this information must have in place control mechanisms to reasonably ensure or otherwise agree that (a) the portfolio holdings information will be kept confidential, (b) no employee shall use the information to effect trading or for their personal benefit, and (c) the nature and type of information that they, in turn, may disclose to third parties is limited. TAM relies primarily on the existence of non-disclosure agreements and/or control mechanisms when determining that disclosure is not likely to be harmful to a fund. Nothing in this section should be construed as requiring TAM's Operational Risk Committee's review of the disclosure of material, non-public holdings information, as described above, once Board approval of a proposed fund merger, acquisition, or sub-adviser change has been received.
- In addition to those set out above, as of December 31, 2022, the following entities receive information about the funds’ securities pursuant to an ongoing arrangement with the funds in connection with services provided to the funds:
Recipient
Purpose
Frequency
Bloomberg LP
Statistical ranking, rating, and/or performance
attribution analysis and pricing
Daily
Broadridge
Print vendor for shareholder documents, proxy
solicitor/tabulator, 15(c) analysis
Daily
CAPIS
Trade execution analysis
Daily
eVestment Alliance, LLC
Institutional sales and RFP opportunities
Quarterly
FactSet
Performance attribution analysis
Daily
FXTransparency
Trade execution analysis
Quarterly
Glass Lewis & Co.
Proxy voting services
Quarterly
Globe Tax Services, Inc.
ECJ foreign tax reclaim services
As necessary
Grant Thornton Pakistan
Provide tax services for market in Pakistan
As necessary
ICE Data Services
Pricing
Daily
Investment Company
Institute
Holdings Information on Form N-PORT
Quarterly
JPMorgan Pricing Direct
Pricing
As necessary
KPMG Taiwan
Provide tax services for market in Taiwan
As necessary
Lipper, Inc.
Statistical ranking and rating
Monthly
Markit North America
Pricing
Daily
Morningstar LLC
Statistical ranking, rating, and/or performance
attribution analysis
Daily
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Private Limited
Provide tax services for market in India
As necessary
Refinitiv US LLC
Pricing
Daily
R.R. Donnelly
Financial reporting
Monthly
Schwab CT
Code of Ethics monitoring
Daily
truView
Risk and liquidity management analytics
Daily
TAM, its affiliates, the funds, the funds’ sub-advisers and the funds’ other service providers will not enter into any arrangements from which they derive compensation for the disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information.
Subject to such departures as TAM believes reasonable and consistent with reasonably protecting the confidentiality of the portfolio holdings information, each confidentiality agreement should provide that, among other things: the portfolio holdings information is the confidential property of the funds (and their service providers, if applicable) and may not be shared or used directly or indirectly for any purpose except as expressly provided in the confidentiality agreement. The recipient of the portfolio holdings information agrees to limit access to the portfolio holdings information to its employees (and agents) who, on a need to know basis, are (1) authorized to have access to the portfolio holdings information and (2) subject to a duty of confidentiality, including duties not to share the non-public information with an unauthorized source and not to trade on non-public information. Upon written request, the recipient agrees to promptly return or destroy, as directed, the portfolio holdings information.
The funds (or their authorized service providers) may disclose portfolio holdings information before its public disclosure based on the criteria described above. The frequency with which such information may be disclosed, and the length of the lag, if any, between the disclosure date of the information and the date on which the information is publicly disclosed, varies based on the terms of the applicable confidentiality agreement. The funds currently provide portfolio holdings information to the third parties listed herein at the stated frequency as part of ongoing arrangements that include the release of portfolio holdings information in accordance with the policy.
37

The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) or his/her delegate may, on a case-by-case basis, impose additional restrictions on the dissemination of portfolio holdings information or waive certain requirements. Any exceptions to the policy must be consistent with the purposes of the policy. The CCO reports to the Board material compliance violations of the funds’ policies and procedures on disclosure of portfolio holdings.
In addition, separate account and unregistered product clients of TAM, the sub-advisers of the funds, or their respective affiliates generally have access to information regarding the portfolio holdings of their own accounts. Prospective clients may also have access to representative portfolio holdings. These clients and prospective clients are not subject to the portfolio holdings disclosure policies described above. Some of these separate accounts and unregistered product clients have substantially similar or identical investment objectives and strategies to certain funds, and therefore may have substantially similar or nearly identical portfolio holdings as those funds.
Certain information in the above section may not apply to all of the funds managed by TAM.
There can be no assurance that the funds’ policy with respect to disclosure of portfolio holdings will prevent the misuse of such information by individuals and firms that receive such information.
Commodity Exchange Act Registration
The funds are operated by the Investment Manager pursuant to an exclusion from registration as a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), and therefore, are not subject to registration or regulation with respect to such funds under the CEA. The funds are limited in their ability to enter into commodity interests positions subject to CFTC jurisdiction.
Management of the Trust
Each of the funds is supervised by the Board.
Board Members and Officers
The members of the Board (“Board Members”) and executive officers of the Trust are listed below.
“Interested Board Member” means a board member who may be deemed an “interested person” (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust because of his current or former service with TAM or an affiliate of TAM. Interested Board Members may also be referred to herein as “Interested Trustees.” “Independent Board Member” means a Board Member who is not an “interested person” (as defined under the 1940 Act) of the Trust and may also be referred to herein as an “Independent Trustee.”
The Board governs each fund and is responsible for protecting the interests of the shareholders. The Board Members are experienced executives who meet periodically throughout the year to oversee the business affairs of each fund and the operation of each fund by its officers. The Board also reviews the management of each fund’s assets by the investment manager and its respective sub-adviser.
The funds are among the funds managed and sponsored by TAM (collectively, “Transamerica Fund Family”). The Transamerica Fund Family consists of (i) Transamerica Funds (“TF”); (ii) Transamerica Series Trust (“TST”); and (iii) Transamerica ETF Trust (“TET”). The Transamerica Fund Family consists of 111 funds as of the date of this SAI. With the exception of Mr. Smit, none of the Board Members serve on the board of trustees of TET. TET is overseen by a separate board of trustees.
The mailing address of each Board Member is c/o Secretary, 1801 California Street, Suite 5200, Denver, CO 80202.
The Board Members, their age, their positions with the Trust, and their principal occupations for at least the past five years (their titles may have varied during that period), the number of funds in the Transamerica Fund Family the Board oversees, and other board memberships they hold are set forth in the table below. The length of time served is provided from the date a Board Member became a member of the Board.
Name and Age
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length
of Time
Served*
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
Number of
Funds in
Complex
Overseen
by Board
Member
Other
Directorships Held
By Board Member
During Past Five
Years
INTERESTED BOARD MEMBERS
Marijn P. Smit
(49)
Chairman of
the Board,
President and
Chief Executive
Officer
Since 2014
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief
Executive Officer, TF and TST (2014 –
present);
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Transamerica Asset Allocation Variable
Funds (“TAAVF”) (2014 – 2023);
Chairman of the Board, TET (2017 – 2022),
111
Director, Massachusetts
Fidelity Trust Company
(2014 - 2021);
Director, Aegon Global
Funds (2016 - 2022)
38

Name and Age
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length
of Time
Served*
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
Number of
Funds in
Complex
Overseen
by Board
Member
Other
Directorships Held
By Board Member
During Past Five
Years
INTERESTED BOARD MEMBERScontinued
Marijn P. Smit
(continued)
 
 
President and Chief Executive Officer, TET
(2017 – present);
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief
Executive Officer, Transamerica Partners
Portfolio (“TPP”), Transamerica Partners
Funds Group (“TPFG”) and Transamerica
Partners Funds Group II (“TPFG II”) (2014
– 2018);
Director, Chairman of the Board, President
and Chief Executive Officer, Transamerica
Asset Management, Inc. (“TAM”) and
Transamerica Fund Services, Inc. (“TFS”)
(2014 – present);
Senior Vice President, Transamerica
Retirement Solutions LLC (2012 - 2020);
Trust Officer, Massachusetts Fidelity Trust
Company (2014 - 2021);
President, Investment Solutions,
Transamerica Investments & Retirement
(2014 – 2016);
Vice President, Transamerica Life Insurance
Company (2010 – 2016);
Vice President, Transamerica Premier Life
Insurance Company (2010 – 2016);
Senior Vice President, Transamerica
Financial Life Insurance Company (2013 –
2016);
Senior Vice President, Transamerica
Retirement Advisors, Inc. (2013 – 2016)
and President and Director, Transamerica
Stable Value Solutions, Inc. (2010 – 2016).
 
 
Alan F. Warrick
(74)
Board Member
Since 2012
Board Member, TF and TST (2012 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2012 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2012 – 2018);
Senior Advisor, Lovell Minnick Equity
Partners (2010 – present);
and Retired (2010).
111
N/A
INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBERS
Sandra N. Bane
(71)
Board Member
Since 2008
Retired (1999 – present);
Board Member, TF and TST (2008 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2008 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2008 – 2018); and
Partner, KPMG (1975 – 1999).
111
Big 5 Sporting Goods
(2002 – 2021);
Southern Company Gas
(energy services holding
company) (2008 –
present)
Leo J. Hill
(67)
Lead Independent
Board Member
Since 2002
Principal, Advisor Network Solutions, LLC
(business consulting) (2006 – present);
Board Member, TST (2001 – present);
Board Member, TF (2002 – present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2007 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2007 – 2018);
Market President, Nations Bank of Sun
Coast Florida (1998 – 1999);
Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Barnett Banks of Treasure Coast
Florida (1994 – 1998);
Executive Vice President and Senior Credit
111
Ameris Bancorp (2013 –
present);
Ameris Bank (2013 –
present)
39

Name and Age
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length
of Time
Served*
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
Number of
Funds in
Complex
Overseen
by Board
Member
Other
Directorships Held
By Board Member
During Past Five
Years
INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBERScontinued
Leo J. Hill
(continued)
 
 
Officer, Barnett Banks of Jacksonville,
Florida (1991 – 1994);
and Senior Vice President and Senior Loan
Administration Officer, Wachovia Bank of
Georgia (1976 – 1991).
 
 
Kathleen T. Ives
(57)
Board Member
Since 2021
Board Member, TF and TST (2021 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2021 – 2023);
Retired (2019 – present);
Senior Vice President & Director of Internal
Audit (2011-2019), Senior Vice President &
Deputy General Counsel (2008 – 2011), OFI
Global Asset Management, Inc.
111
Junior Achievement
Rocky Mountain
(non-profit organization)
(2013 – present);
Institute of Internal
Auditors, Denver
Chapter (audit
organization) (2017 –
2021).
Lauriann C. Kloppenburg
(62)
Board Member
Since 2021
Board Member, TF and TST (2021 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2021 – 2023);
Director, Adams Funds (investment
companies) (2017 – present);
Investment Committee Member, 1911
Office, LLC (family office) (2017 –
Present);
Executive in Residence and Student Fund
Advisory Board Member, Champlain
College (2016 – present);
Executive in Residence, Bentley University
(2015 – 2017);
Chief Strategy Officer (2012 – 2013), Chief
Investment Officer – Equity Group (2004 –
2012), Loomis Sayles & Company, L.P.
111
Trustees of Donations to
the Protestant Episcopal
Church (non-profit
organization) (2010 –
2022);
Forte Foundation
(non-profit organization)
(2016 – present)
Fredric A. Nelson III
(66)
Board Member
Since 2017
Board Member, TF and TST (2017 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2017 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2017 – 2018);
Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”),
Commonfund (2011 – 2015);
Vice Chairman, CIO, ING Investment
Management Americas (2003 – 2009);
Managing Director, Head of U.S. Equity, JP
Morgan Investment Management (1994 –
2003);
and Managing Director, Head of Global
Quantitative Investments Group, Bankers
Trust Global Investment Management (1981
– 1994).
111
N/A
John E. Pelletier
(58)
Board Member
Since 2017
Board Member, TF and TST (2017 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2017 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2017 – 2018);
Director, Center for Financial Literacy,
Champlain College (2010 – present);
Co-Chair, Vermont Financial Literacy
Commission with Vermont State Treasurer
(2015 – 2018);
Chairman, Vermont Universal Children’s
Higher Education Savings Account Program
Advisory Committee (2015 – 2021);
Founder and Principal, Sterling Valley
Consulting LLC (a financial services
consulting firm) (2009 – 2017);
111
N/A
40

Name and Age
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length
of Time
Served*
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
Number of
Funds in
Complex
Overseen
by Board
Member
Other
Directorships Held
By Board Member
During Past Five
Years
INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBERScontinued
John E. Pelletier
(continued)
 
 
Independent Director, The Sentinel Funds
and Sentinel Variable Products Trust (2013 –
2017);
Chief Legal Officer, Eaton Vance Corp.
(2007 – 2008);
and Executive Vice President and Chief
Operating Officer (2004 - 2007), General
Counsel (1997 – 2004), Natixis Global
Associates.
 
 
Patricia L. Sawyer
(72)
Board Member
Since 2007
Retired (2007 – present);
President/Founder, Smith & Sawyer LLC
(management consulting) (1989 – 2007);
Board Member, TF and TST (2007 –
present);
Board Member, TAAVF (1993 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(1993 – 2018);
and Trustee, Chair of Finance Committee
and Chair of Nominating Committee (1987
– 1996), Bryant University.
111
Honorary Trustee,
Bryant University (1996
– present)
John W. Waechter
(71)
Board Member
Since 2005
Partner, Englander Fischer (2016 – present)
(law firm);
Attorney, Englander Fischer (2008 – 2015);
Retired (2004 – 2008);
Board Member, TST (2004 – present);
Board Member, TF (2005 – present);
Board Member, TAAVF (2007 – 2023);
Board Member, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II
(2007 – 2018);
Employee, RBC Dain Rauscher (securities
dealer) (2004); Executive Vice President,
Chief Financial Officer and Chief
Compliance Officer, William R. Hough &
Co. (securities dealer) (1979 – 2004);
and Treasurer, The Hough Group of Funds
(1993 – 2004) (fund accounting).
111
Board Member,
Operation PAR, Inc.
(non-profit organization)
(2008 – present);
Board Member, Boley
PAR, Inc. (non-profit
organization) (2016 -
present)
Board Member,
Remember Honor
Support, Inc. (non-profit
organization)
(2013 - 2020);
Board Member, WRH
Income Properties, Inc.
and WRH Properties,
Inc. and affiliates (real
estate) (2014 - present)
*
Each Board Member shall hold office until: 1) his or her successor is elected and qualified or 2) he or she resigns, retires or his or her term as a Board Member is terminated in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust.
Officers
The mailing address of each officer is c/o Secretary, 1801 California Street, Suite 5200, Denver, CO 80202. The following table shows information about the officers, including their age, their positions held with the Trust and their principal occupations during the past five years (their titles may have varied during that period). Each officer will hold office until his or her successor has been duly elected or appointed or until his or her earlier death, resignation or removal.
Name and Age
Position
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served*
Principal Occupation(s) or Employment
During Past Five Years
Marijn P. Smit
(49)
Chairman of the Board, President
and Chief Executive Officer
Since 2014
See Interested Board Members Table Above.
Timothy Bresnahan
(54)
Assistant Secretary
Since 2020
Assistant Secretary, TF and TST (2020 – present);
Assistant Secretary, TAAVF (2020 – 2023);
Chief Legal Officer, Secretary (2021 - present), Assistant Secretary
(2019 – 2021), Secretary (2019), TET;
and Senior Counsel, TAM (2008 – present).
Joshua Durham
(49)
Vice President and Chief
Operating Officer
Since 2022
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, TF and TST (2022 –
present);
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, TAAVF (2022 –
2023);
Director, Senior Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer TAM
41

Name and Age
Position
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served*
Principal Occupation(s) or Employment
During Past Five Years
Joshua Durham
(continued)
 
 
and TFS (2022 – present);
Vice President, TAG Resources, LLC (2022 – present);
Vice President, Transamerica Retirement Solutions, LLC (2017 –
present);
Vice President, Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company (2016
– 2022);
Vice President (2004 – 2007 and 2012 – 2022), Responsible
Officer (2017 – 2022), Transamerica Financial Life Insurance
Company;
Vice President (2004 – 2007 and 2010 – 2022), Responsible
Officer (2016 – 2022) Transamerica Life Insurance Company;
Chief Administrative Officer (2014 – 2016) and Senior Vice
President (2009 – 2020), Transamerica Stable Value Solutions Inc.;
Vice President, Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company
(2010 – 2020);
and Vice President, Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance
Company (2016 – 2019).
Dennis P. Gallagher
(52)
Chief Legal Officer and
Secretary
Since 2021;
2006 – 2014
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, TF and TST (2021 – present
and 2006 - 2014);
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, TAAVF (2021 – 2023 and 2006
- 2014);
Chief Legal Officer and Assistant Secretary, TAM (2022 –
present);
Associate General Counsel/Lead Attorney, TAM, Mutual Funds
and Latin American Operations (2017 – 2021);
Associate General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer, Latin American
Operations and International Funds (2014 – 2017);
Director, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Operations and
Secretary, TAM (2006 – 2014);
Director, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief
Administrative Officer and Secretary, TFS (2006 – 2014);
Chairman of the Board, Aegon Global Funds (2013 – 2022);
Board Member, Mongeral Aegon Seguros e Previdencia SA (2017
– 2022);
Assistant Secretary, TF, TST, TET and TAAVF (2019);
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, TPP, TPFG and
TPFG II (2007 – 2014); and
Assistant Vice President, TCI (2007 – 2014).
Molly Possehl
(45)
Anti-Money Laundering Officer
Since 2019
Anti-Money Laundering Officer, TF, TST and TET (2019 –
present);
Anti-Money Laundering Officer, TAAVF (2019 – 2023);
Assistant General Counsel, Transamerica Life Insurance
Company/Aegon USA (2013 – present);
and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Fraud
Officer, Transamerica Life Insurance Company/Aegon USA (2015
– present).
Francine J. Rosenberger
(55)
Chief Compliance Officer
Since 2019
Chief Compliance Officer, TF, TST and TET (2019 – present);
Chief Compliance Officer, TAAVF (2019 – 2023);
Co-Derivatives Risk Manager, TF, TST and TAAVF (2021 –
present);
Chief Compliance Officer (2019 – present), TAM; (2022 –
present), TFS;
and General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Fund Chief
Compliance Officer, Steben & Company, Inc. (2013 – 2019).
Christopher A. Staples, CFA
(52)
Vice President and Chief
Investment Officer, Advisory
Services
Since 2005
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Advisory Services,
TF and TST (2007 – present);
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, TET (2017 –
present);
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Advisory Services,
TAAVF (2007 – 2023);
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Advisory Services,
TPP, TPFG and TPFG II (2007 – 2018);
Director (2005 – 2019), Senior Vice President (2006 – present),
Senior Director, Investments (2016 – present), Chief Investment
Officer, Advisory Services (2012 – 2016) and Lead Portfolio
42

Name and Age
Position
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served*
Principal Occupation(s) or Employment
During Past Five Years
Christopher A. Staples, CFA
(continued)
 
 
Manager (2007 – present), TAM;
Director, TFS (2005 – 2019);
Trust Officer, Massachusetts Fidelity Trust Company (2010 -
2022);
Registered Representative (2007 – 2016), Transamerica Capital,
Inc. (“TCI”);
and Registered Representative, TFA (2005 – present).
Vincent J. Toner
(53)
Vice President and Treasurer
Since 2014
Vice President and Treasurer, TF and TST (2014 – present),
Vice President and Treasurer, TAAVF (2014 – 2023),
Vice President and Treasurer (2017 – present), Vice President,
Principal Financial Officer and Treasurer (2020 – present), TET;
Vice President and Treasurer, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II (2014 –
2018);
Vice President (2016 – present), Treasurer (2016 – 2019), Vice
President, Administration and Treasurer (2014 – 2016), TAM;
Vice President, Administration and Treasurer (2014 – 2019),
Senior Vice President (2019 – present), TFS;
Vice President (2016 – present), TCI;
and Trust Officer (2015 – present), Massachusetts Fidelity Trust
Company.
Thomas R. Wald, CFA
(62)
Vice President and Chief
Investment Officer
Since 2014
Chief Investment Officer, TF and TST (2014 – present); TET (2017
– present);
Chief Investment Officer, TAAVF (2014 – 2023);
Chief Investment Officer, TPP, TPFG and TPFG II (2014 – 2018);
Director (2017 – 2020), Akaan Transamerica, S.A. de C.V.,
Sociedad Operadora de Fondos de Inversión;
Chief Investment Officer, Transamerica Investments & Retirement
(2014 – 2020);
Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, TAM (2014 –
present);
Director, TFS (2019 - present); and
Trust Officer, Massachusetts Fidelity Trust Company (2015 -
2022).
*
Elected and serves at the pleasure of the Board of the Trust.
If an officer has held offices for different funds for different periods of time, the earliest applicable date is shown. No officer of the Trust, except for the Chief Compliance Officer, receives any compensation from the Trust.
Each of the Board Members, other than Messrs. Nelson, Pelletier, Smit and Warrick and Mses. Ives and Kloppenburg, previously served as a trustee or director of the TAM, Diversified or Premier fund family, and each Board Member was thus initially selected by the board of the applicable predecessor fund family. In connection with the consolidation of all “manager of managers” investment advisory services within Transamerica in 2007, a single board was established to oversee the TAM and Diversified fund families, and each of the Board Members, other than Mses. Bane, Ives and Kloppenburg, and Messrs. Nelson, Pelletier, Smit and Warrick, joined the Board at that time. The Board was established with a view both to ensuring continuity of representation by board members of the TAM and Diversified fund families on the Board and in order to establish a Board with experience in and focused on overseeing various types of funds, which experience would be further developed and enhanced over time. Ms. Bane joined the Board in 2008 when the Premier fund family was consolidated into the Transamerica Fund Family. Mr. Warrick joined the Board in 2012. Mr. Smit joined the Board in 2014. Messrs. Nelson and Pelletier both joined the Board in 2017. Mses. Ives and Kloppenburg both joined the Board in 2021.
The Board believes that each Board Member’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Board Members lead to the conclusion that the Board possesses the requisite skills and attributes. The Board believes that the Board Members’ ability to review critically, evaluate, question and discuss information provided to them, to interact effectively with TAM, the sub-advisers, other services providers, counsel and independent auditors, and to exercise effective business judgment in the performance of their duties, support this conclusion. The Board also has considered the following experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, among others, of its members in reaching its conclusion: his or her character and integrity; such person’s service as a board member of a predecessor fund family (other than Mses. Ives and Kloppenburg, and Messrs. Nelson, Pelletier, Smit and Warrick); such person’s willingness to serve and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of a Board Member; the fact that such person’s service would be consistent with the requirements of the retirement policies of the Trust; as to each Board Member other than Mr. Smit and Mr. Warrick, his or her status as not being an “interested person” as defined in the 1940 Act; as to Mr. Smit, his status as a representative of TAM; and, as to Mr. Warrick, his former service in various executive positions for certain affiliates of TAM. In addition, the following specific experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills apply as to each Board Member: Ms. Bane, accounting experience and experience as a board member of multiple organizations; Mr. Hill, financial and entrepreneurial experience as an executive, owner and
43

consultant and experience as a board member of multiple organizations; Ms. Ives, audit, securities industry and compliance experience as a fund executive; Ms. Kloppenburg, investment management experience as an executive and board experience; Mr. Nelson, business experience, securities industry and fund executive experience; Mr. Pelletier, securities industry and fund legal and operations experience, entrepreneurial experience as an executive, owner and consultant, and board experience; Ms. Sawyer, management consulting and board experience; Mr. Waechter, securities industry and fund accounting and fund compliance experience, legal experience and board experience; Mr. Smit, investment management and insurance experience as an executive and leadership roles with TAM and affiliated entities; and Mr. Warrick, financial services industry experience as an executive and consultant with various TAM affiliates and other entities. References to the qualifications, attributes and skills of Board Members are pursuant to requirements of the SEC, do not constitute holding out of the Board or any Board Member as having any special expertise or experience, and shall not impose any greater responsibility or liability on any such person or on the Board by reason thereof.
The Board is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the funds. Mr. Smit serves as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Smit is an interested person of the funds. Independent Board Members constitute more than 75% of the Board.
The Board currently believes that an interested Chairman is appropriate and is in the best interests of the funds and their shareholders, and that its committees, as further described below, help ensure that the funds have effective and independent governance and oversight. The Board believes that an interested Chairman has a professional interest in the quality of the services provided to the funds and that the Chairman is best equipped to provide oversight of such services on a day-to-day basis because of TAM’s sponsorship of the funds and TAM’s ongoing monitoring of the investment sub-advisers that manage the assets of each fund. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Board Members from management. The Independent Board Members also believe that they can effectively act independently without having an Independent Board Member act as Chairman. Among other reasons, this belief is based on the fact that the Independent Board Members represent over 75% of the Board.
Board Committees
The Board has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and Nominating Committee. Both the Audit Committee and Nominating Committee are chaired by an Independent Board Member and composed of all of the Independent Board Members. In addition, the Board has a Lead Independent Board Member. Mr. Hill serves as the Lead Independent Board Member; Mr. Waechter serves as the Audit Committee Chairperson and Ms. Sawyer serves as the Nominating Committee Chairperson.
The Lead Independent Board Member and the chairs of the Audit and Nominating Committees work with the Chairman to set the agendas for Board and committee meetings. The Lead Independent Board Member also serves as a key point person for dealings between management and the Independent Board Members. Through the funds’ board committees, the Independent Board Members consider and address important matters involving the funds, including those presenting conflicts or potential conflicts of interest for management, and they believe they can act independently and effectively. The Board believes that its leadership structure is appropriate and facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Board Members from management.
The Audit Committee, among other things, oversees the accounting and reporting policies and practices and internal controls of the Trust, oversees the quality and integrity of the financial statements of the Trust, approves, prior to appointment, the engagement of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm, reviews and evaluates the independent registered public accounting firm’s qualifications, independence and performance, and approves the compensation of the independent registered public accounting firm.
The Audit Committee also approves all audit and permissible non-audit services provided to each fund by the independent registered public accounting firm and all permissible non-audit services provided by each fund’s independent registered public accounting firm to TAM and any affiliated service providers if the engagement relates directly to each fund’s operations and financial reporting.
The Nominating Committee is a forum for identifying, considering, selecting and nominating, or recommending for nomination by the Board, candidates to fill vacancies on the Board. The Nominating Committee may consider diversity in identifying potential candidates, including differences of viewpoint, professional experience and skill, as well as such other individual qualities and attributes as it may deem relevant. The Nominating Committee has not adopted a formal procedure for the implementation, or for assessing the effectiveness, of its policy with regard to the consideration of diversity in identifying potential candidates.
When addressing vacancies, the Nominating Committee sets any necessary standards or qualifications for service on the Board and may consider nominees recommended by any source it deems appropriate, including management and shareholders. Shareholders who wish to recommend a nominee should send recommendations to the Trust’s Secretary that include all information relating to such person that is required to be disclosed in solicitations of proxies for the election of Board Members. A recommendation must be accompanied by a written consent of the individual to stand for election if nominated by the Board and to serve if elected by the shareholders. The Nominating Committee will consider all submissions meeting the applicable requirements stated herein that are received by December 31 of the most recently completed calendar year.
The Nominating Committee also identifies potential nominees through its network of contacts and may also engage, if it deems appropriate, a professional search firm. The committee meets to discuss and consider such candidates’ qualifications and then chooses a candidate by majority vote.
44

Risk Oversight
Through its oversight of the management and operations of the funds, the Board also has a risk oversight function, which includes (without limitation) the following: (i) requesting and reviewing reports on the operations of the funds (such as reports about the performance of the funds); (ii) reviewing compliance reports and approving compliance policies and procedures of the funds and their service providers; (iii) meeting with management to consider areas of risk and to seek assurances that adequate resources are available to address risks; (iv) meeting with service providers, including fund auditors, to review fund activities; and (v) meeting with the Chief Compliance Officer and other officers of the funds and their service providers to receive information about compliance, and risk assessment and management matters. Such oversight is exercised primarily through the Board and its Audit Committee but, on an ad hoc basis, also can be exercised by the Independent Board Members during executive sessions. The Board has emphasized to TAM and the sub-advisers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.
The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the funds can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the funds' goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Board Members as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the funds' investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through TAM, its affiliates, the sub-advisers and other service providers each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the funds' and each other in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s risk management oversight is subject to substantial limitations. In addition, some risks may be beyond the reasonable control of the Board, the funds, TAM, its affiliates, the sub-advisers or other service providers.
In addition, it is important to note that each fund is designed for investors that are prepared to accept investment risk, including the possibility that as yet unforeseen risks may emerge in the future.
Additional Information about the Committees of the Board
Both the Audit Committee and Nominating Committee are composed of all of the Independent Board Members. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2022, the Audit Committee met 3 times and the Nominating Committee met 1 time.
45

Trustee Ownership of Equity Securities
The table below gives the dollar range of shares of the funds, as well as the aggregate dollar range of shares of all funds/portfolios in the Transamerica Fund Family, owned by each current Trustee as of December 31, 2022.
Fund
Interested Trustees
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marijn P. Smit
Alan F.
Warrick
Sandra N.
Bane
Leo J. Hill
Kathleen T.
Ives
Lauriann C.
Kloppenburg
Fredric A.
Nelson III
John E.
Pelletier
Patricia L.
Sawyer
John W.
Waechter
Transamerica Asset Allocation
Intermediate Horizon
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Asset Allocation
Long Horizon
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Asset Allocation
Short Horizon
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Balanced II
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Bond
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Over $100,000
None
$10,001 -
$50,000
Transamerica Capital Growth
None
None
None
None
None
None
$10,001 -
$50,000
None
None
None
Transamerica Core Bond
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Emerging Markets
Opportunities
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Government Money
Market
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Over $100,000
None
None
Transamerica High Yield Bond
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
$10,001 –
$50,000
None
Transamerica High Yield ESG
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Inflation-Protected
Securities
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica International Equity
Over $100,000
None
None
None
Over $100,000
None
None
None
$10,001 –
$50,000
$50,001 –
$100,000
Transamerica International Focus
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Large Core ESG
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Transamerica Large Growth<