Natixis Funds Trust II

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STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

May 1, 2023

NATIXIS FUNDS TRUST I

Natixis Oakmark International Fund - Class A (NOIAX), Class C (NOICX), Class N (NIONX), Class T* (NIOTX) and Class Y (NOIYX)

Natixis U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund - Class A (NEFSX), Class C (NECCX), Class N (NESNX), Class T* (NUSTX) and Class Y (NESYX)

NATIXIS FUNDS TRUST II

Loomis Sayles Strategic Alpha Fund - Class A (LABAX), Class C (LABCX), Class N (LASNX), Class T* (LSATX) and Class Y (LASYX)

Natixis Oakmark Fund - Class A (NEFOX), Class C (NECOX), Class N (NOANX), Class T* (NOKTX) and Class Y (NEOYX)

LOOMIS SAYLES FUNDS II

Loomis Sayles High Income Fund - Class A (NEFHX), Class C (NEHCX), Class N (LSHNX), Class T* (NEHTX) and Class Y (NEHYX)

Loomis Sayles International Growth Fund - Class A (LIGGX), Class C (LIGCX), Class N (LIGNX), and Class Y (LIGYX)

Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Bond Fund - Class A (LIGRX), Class C (LGBCX), Class N (LGBNX), Class T* (LIGTX), Class Y (LSIIX) and Admin Class (LIGAX)

Loomis Sayles Strategic Income Fund - Class A (NEFZX), Class C (NECZX), Class N (NEZNX), Class T* (LSSTX), Class Y (NEZYX) and Admin Class (NEZAX)

 

*

Class T shares of the Funds are not currently available for purchase.

This Statement of Additional Information (“Statement”) contains specific information that may be useful to investors but that is not included in the Statutory Prospectus of the series of Natixis Funds Trust I, Natixis Funds Trust II, or Loomis Sayles Funds II listed above (each, a “Trust” and together, the “Trusts,” with each series being known as a “Fund” and together, the “Funds”). This Statement is not a prospectus and is authorized for distribution only when accompanied or preceded by the Funds’ Summary or Statutory Prospectus, each dated May 1, 2023, as from time to time revised or supplemented (collectively, the “Prospectus”). This Statement should be read together with the Prospectus. Investors may obtain the Prospectus without charge from Natixis Distribution, LLC (the “Distributor”), Prospectus Fulfillment Desk, 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197, by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by visiting the Funds’ website at im.natixis.com.

The Funds’ financial statements and accompanying notes that appear in the Natixis Funds Trust I annual report, Natixis Funds Trust II annual report and Loomis Sayles Funds II annual report are incorporated by reference into this Statement. Each Fund’s annual and semiannual reports contain additional performance information and are available upon request and without charge by calling 800-225-5478 or by visiting the Funds’ website at im.natixis.com.

XLH33-0523

 

1


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     3  

FUND CHARGES AND EXPENSES

     11  

OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES

     20  

THE TRUSTS

     31  

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

     32  

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

     85  

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

     86  

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

     86  

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUSTS

     88  

INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES

     101  

OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

     109  

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

     111  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     116  

DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUSTS

     122  

VOTING RIGHTS

     122  

SHAREHOLDER AND TRUSTEE LIABILITY

     123  

HOW TO BUY SHARES

     124  

REDEMPTIONS

     124  

SHAREHOLDER SERVICES

     125  

NET ASSET VALUE

     129  

REDUCED SALES CHARGES

     131  

DISTRIBUTIONS

     133  

TAXES

     133  

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

     146  

THIRD-PARTY INFORMATION

     147  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     147  

APPENDIX A

     A-1  

 

2


INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

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

The Loomis Sayles High Income Fund (the “High Income Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

Buy more than 10% of the voting securities or more than 10% of all of the securities of any issuer, or invest to control or manage any company.

 

*(2)

Purchase securities on “margin,” except for short-term credits as needed to clear securities purchases.

 

*(3)

Invest in securities issued by other investment companies, except in connection with a merger, consolidation, acquisition, or reorganization, or by purchase in the open market of securities of closed-end investment companies where no underwriter or dealer commission or profit, other than a customary brokerage commission, is involved and only if immediately thereafter not more than 10% of the value of its total assets would be invested in such securities.

 

*(4)

Purchase securities, other than shares of the Fund, from or sell portfolio securities to its directors or officers, or firms they are affiliated with as principals, except as permitted by the regulations of the SEC.

 

*(5)

Purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts, or write, purchase or sell options, except that the Fund may (a) buy or sell futures contracts on securities or on securities indices and (b) write, purchase or sell put or call options on securities, on securities indices or on futures contracts of the type referred to in clause (a) of this restriction.

 

*(6)

Make loans, except loans of portfolio securities and except to the extent that the purchase of notes, repurchase agreements, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness or deposits with banks or other financial institutions may be considered loans.

 

*(7)

Make short sales of securities or maintain a short position.

 

*(8)

Purchase or sell real estate, provided that the Fund may invest in securities secured by real estate or interests therein or in securities issued by companies that invest in real estate or interests therein.

 

*(9)

Purchase or sell interests in oil and gas or other mineral exploration or development programs, provided that the Fund may invest in securities issued by companies which do invest in or sponsor such programs.

 

*(10)

Underwrite the securities of other issuers.

 

*(11)

Invest more than 10% of the value of its total assets, in the aggregate, in repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days and restricted securities.

 

*(12)

Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry (in the utilities category, gas, electric, water, and telephone companies will be considered as being in separate industries).

 

*†(13)

Borrow money, except as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes, up to an amount not in excess of 33 1/3% of its total assets.

 

3


*(14)

Issue senior securities. For the purpose of this restriction, none of the following is deemed to be a senior security: any borrowing permitted by restriction (13) above; any collateral arrangements with respect to options, forward contracts, futures contracts, swap contracts and other similar contracts and options on futures contracts and with respect to initial and variation margin; the purchase or sale of options, forward contracts, futures contracts, swap contracts or similar contracts or options on futures contracts; and the issuance of shares of beneficial interest permitted from time to time by the provisions of Loomis Sayles Funds II’s First Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust and by the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder, or any exemption therefrom.

 

†(15)

Invest more than 15% of the Fund’s total net assets in illiquid securities.

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings made for investment purposes) in below investment grade fixed-income securities. Prior to any change to such policy adopted by the Board, the Fund will provide notice to shareholders as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, as such Rule may be interpreted from time to time by the staff of the SEC.

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

The Loomis Sayles International Growth Fund (the “International Growth Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

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

 

*(2)

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

 

*† (3)

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

 

*(4)

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

 

*(5)

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

 

*(6)

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

 

*(7)

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

 

4


International Growth Fund may:

 

*(8)

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

The Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Bond Fund (the “Investment Grade Bond Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

Act as underwriter, except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under certain federal securities laws.

 

*(2)

Invest in oil, gas or other mineral leases, rights or royalty contracts or in real estate, commodities or commodity contracts. (This restriction does not prevent the Fund from engaging in transactions in futures contracts relating to securities indices, interest rates or financial instruments or options, or from investing in issuers that invest or deal in the foregoing types of assets or from purchasing securities that are secured by real estate.)

 

*(3)

Make loans, except that the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. (For purposes of this investment restriction, neither (i) entering into repurchase agreements nor (ii) purchasing debt obligations in which the Fund may invest consistent with its investment policies is considered the making of a loan.)

 

(4)

With respect to 75% of its assets, purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 5% of the Fund’s assets (taken at current value) would then be invested in securities of a single issuer.

 

(5)

With respect to 75% of its assets, acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of an issuer.

 

*(6)

Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry (in the utilities category, gas, electric, water and telephone companies will be considered as being in separate industries.)

 

*(7)

Borrow in excess of 10% of its assets (taken at cost) or 5% of its assets (taken at current value), whichever is lower, nor borrow any money except as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes.

 

(8)

Purchase securities on margin (except such short-term credits as are necessary for clearance of transactions) or make short sales (except where, by virtue of ownership of other securities, it has the right to obtain, without payment of additional consideration, securities equivalent in kind and amount to those sold.)

 

(9)

Participate on a joint or joint and several basis in any trading account in securities. (The “bunching” of orders for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities with Loomis Sayles or accounts under its management to reduce brokerage commissions, to average prices among them or to facilitate such transactions is not considered a trading account in securities for purposes of this restriction.)

 

†(10)

Purchase any illiquid security, including any security that is not readily marketable, if, as a result, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets (based on current value) would then be invested in such securities.

 

(11)

Write or purchase puts, calls, or combinations of both, except that the Fund may (1) acquire warrants or rights to subscribe to securities of companies issuing such warrants or rights, or of parents or subsidiaries of such companies, (2) purchase and sell put and call options on securities, and (3) write, purchase and sell put and call options on currencies and enter into currency forward contracts.

 

*(12)

Issue senior securities. (For purposes of this restriction, none of the following is deemed to be a senior security: any pledge or other encumbrance of assets permitted by restriction (14) below; any borrowing permitted by restriction (7) above; any collateral arrangements with respect to options, futures contracts, and options on futures contracts and with respect to initial and variation margin; and the purchase or sale of options, forward contracts, futures contracts, or options on futures contracts.)

 

5


Investment Grade Bond Fund may:

 

(13)

Pledge its assets to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings made for investment purposes) in investment grade fixed-income securities (for example, bonds and other investments that Loomis Sayles believes have similar economic characteristics, such as notes, debentures and loans). Prior to any change to such policy adopted by the Board, the Fund will provide notice to shareholders as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, as such Rule may be interpreted from time to time by the staff of the SEC.

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

The Loomis Sayles Strategic Alpha Fund (the “Strategic Alpha Fund”) may not:

 

(1)

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

 

(2)

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

 

†(3)

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

 

(4)

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

 

(5)

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

 

(6)

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

 

(7)

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

Strategic Alpha Fund may:

 

(8)

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

The Loomis Sayles Strategic Income Fund (the “Strategic Income Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry (in the utilities category, gas, electric, water and telephone companies will be considered as being in separate industries, and each foreign country’s government (together with subdivisions thereof) will be considered to be a separate industry).

 

6


(2)

Purchase securities on margin (but it may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of securities), or make short sales except where, by virtue of ownership of other securities, it has the right to obtain, without payment of further consideration, securities equivalent in kind and amount to those sold, and the Fund will not deposit or pledge more than 10% of its total assets (taken at current value) as collateral for such sales. (For this purpose, the deposit or payment by the Fund of initial or variation margin in connection with futures contracts or related options transactions is not considered the purchase of a security on margin.)

 

(3)

With respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase any security if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets (based on current value) would be invested in the securities of a single issuer or acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any issuer (in each case excluding U.S. government securities, cash and cash equivalents and the securities of other investment companies).

 

*(4)

Borrow money in excess of 25% of its total assets, and then only as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes.

 

*(5)

Make loans, except by entering into repurchase agreements or by purchase of bonds, debentures, commercial paper, corporate notes and similar evidences of indebtedness, which are a part of an issue to the public or to financial institutions, or through the lending of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

 

*(6)

Buy or sell oil, gas or other mineral leases, rights or royalty contracts, real estate or commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may buy and sell futures contracts and related options. (This restriction does not prevent the Fund from purchasing securities of companies investing in the foregoing.)

 

*(7)

Act as underwriter, except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under certain federal securities laws.

 

(8)

Except to the extent permitted by rule or order of the SEC, participate on a joint or joint and several basis in any trading account in securities. (The “bunching” of orders for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities with any investment adviser of the Fund or accounts under any such investment adviser’s management to reduce brokerage commissions, to average prices among them or to facilitate such transactions is not considered a trading account in securities for purposes of this restriction.)

 

(9)

Write, purchase or sell options, except that the Fund may (a) write, purchase and sell put and call options on securities, securities indices, currencies, futures contracts, swap contracts and other similar instruments and (b) enter into currency forward contracts.

 

†(10)

Invest more than 15% of its net assets (taken at current value) in illiquid securities (excluding Rule 144A securities and certain Section 4(2) commercial paper deemed to be liquid under guidelines established by the Trust’s Trustees).

 

*(11)

Issue senior securities. (For the purpose of this restriction none of the following is deemed to be a senior security: any pledge or other encumbrance of assets permitted by restriction (2); any borrowing permitted by restriction (4) above; any collateral arrangements with respect to forward contracts, options, futures contracts, swap contracts or other similar contracts and options on futures contracts, swap contracts or other similar contracts and with respect to initial and variation margin; the purchase or sale of options, forward contracts, futures contracts, swap contracts or other similar contracts or options on futures contracts, swap contracts or other similar contracts; and the issuance of shares of beneficial interest permitted from time to time by the provisions of the Loomis Sayles Funds II’s First Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust and by the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder, or any exemption therefrom.)

Strategic Income Fund may:

 

(12)

Pledge its assets to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

 

7


The Natixis Oakmark Fund (the “Natixis Oakmark Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

With respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase any security if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets (based on current value) would then be invested in the securities of a single issuer or acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any issuer; provided however, this limitation does not apply to government securities as defined in the 1940 Act.

 

*(2)

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

 

*(3)

Make short sales of securities, maintain a short position or purchase securities on margin, except that the Fund may obtain short-term credits as necessary for the clearance of security transactions, and the Fund may make any short sales or maintain any short positions where the short sales or short positions would not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act.

 

*(4)

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

 

*(5)

Purchase or sell commodities, except that the Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring the delivery of physical commodities.

 

*(6)

Act as underwriter, except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under certain federal securities laws.

 

*(7)

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

 

†*(8)

Borrow money except for temporary or emergency purposes; provided however, that the Fund may loan securities, engage in reverse repurchase agreements and dollar rolls, in an amount not exceeding 33 1/3% of its total assets taken at cost.

 

*(9)

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

 

†(10)

Invest more than 15% of the Fund’s total net assets in illiquid securities.

The Natixis Oakmark International Fund (the “Natixis Oakmark International Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

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

 

8


*(2)

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

 

†*(3)

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

 

*(4)

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

 

*(5)

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

 

*(6)

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

 

*(7)

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

Natixis Oakmark International Fund may:

 

*(8)

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

The Natixis U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund (the “U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund”) may not:

 

*(1)

With respect to 75% of its total assets, invest in the securities of any one issuer (other than the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities) if, immediately after and as a result of such investment, more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund would be invested in such issuer.

 

*(2)

Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry (in the utilities category, gas, electric, water and telephone companies will be considered as being in separate industries, and each foreign country’s government (together with subdivisions thereof) will be considered to be a separate industry.)

 

(3)

Purchase securities on margin (but it may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of securities), or make short sales except when, by virtue of ownership of other securities, it has the right to obtain, without payment of further consideration, securities equivalent in kind and amount to those sold, and the Fund will not deposit or pledge more than 10% of its total assets (taken at current value) as collateral for such sales. (For this purpose, the deposit or payment by the Fund of initial or variation margin in connection with futures contracts or related options transactions is not considered the purchase of a security on margin.)

 

(4)

Acquire more than 10% of any class of securities of an issuer (other than U.S. government securities and taking all preferred stock issues of an issuer as a single class and all debt issues of an issuer as a single class) or with respect to 75% of its total assets, acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of an issuer.

 

*(5)

Borrow money in excess of 25% of its total assets, and then only as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes.

 

*(6)

Make loans, except by entering into repurchase agreements or by purchase of bonds, debentures, commercial paper, corporate notes and similar evidences of indebtedness, which are a part of an issue to the public or to financial institutions, or through the lending of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

 

9


*(7)

Buy or sell oil, gas or other mineral leases, rights or royalty contracts, real estate or commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may buy and sell futures contracts and related options. (This restriction does not prevent the Fund from purchasing securities of companies investing in the foregoing.)

 

*(8)

Act as underwriter, except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under certain federal securities laws.

 

(9)

Except to the extent permitted by rule or order of the SEC, participate on a joint or joint and several basis in any trading account in securities. (The “bunching” of orders for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities with any investment adviser or subadviser of the Fund or accounts under any such investment adviser’s or subadviser’s management to reduce brokerage commissions, to average prices among them or to facilitate such transactions is not considered a trading account in securities for purposes of this restriction.)

 

(10)

Write, purchase or sell options, except that the Fund may (a) write, purchase and sell put and call options on securities, securities indices, currencies, futures contracts, swap contracts and other similar instruments and (b) enter into currency forward contracts.

 

†(11)

Purchase any illiquid security if, as a result, more than 15% of its net assets (taken at current value) would be invested in such securities.

 

*(12)

Issue senior securities. For the purpose of this restriction none of the following is deemed to be a senior security: any pledge or other encumbrance of assets permitted by restrictions (3) or (6) above; any borrowing permitted by restriction (5) above; any collateral arrangements with respect to forward contracts, options, futures contracts and options on futures contracts and with respect to initial and variation margin; the purchase or sale of options, forward contracts, futures contracts or options on futures contracts; and the issuance of shares of beneficial interest permitted from time to time by the provisions of the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and by the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder, or any exemption therefrom.

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund may:

(13)    Pledge its assets to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings made for investment purposes) in equity securities. Equity Securities may include common stocks and preferred stocks. Prior to any change to such policy adopted by the Board, the Fund will provide notice to shareholders as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, as such Rule may be interpreted from time to time by the staff of the SEC.

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings made for investment purposes) in securities of U.S. issuers. Prior to any change to such policy adopted by the Board, the Fund will provide notice to shareholders as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, as such Rule may be interpreted from time to time by the staff of the SEC.

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

General Notes on Investment Restrictions

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

 

10


and regulations, reduce the amount of its borrowings to such an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowing shall be at least 300%. The Funds may also borrow money or engage in economically similar transactions if those transactions do not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act.

Where applicable, the foregoing investment restrictions shall be interpreted based upon rules, no-action letters and other pronouncements of the staff of the SEC. In connection with its compliance with Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, the Fund may treat all reverse repurchase transactions and similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions subject to the requirements of Rule 18f-4 or treat all reverse repurchase transactions and similar financing transactions as senior securities subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by the Fund.

A Fund may not purchase any illiquid security if, as a result, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets (based on current value) would then be invested in such securities. Securities generally will be considered “illiquid” if a Fund reasonably expects the security 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 security.

FUND CHARGES AND EXPENSES

ADVISORY FEES

Pursuant to separate investment advisory agreements, Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. (“Loomis Sayles”) has agreed, subject to the supervision of the Board, to manage the investment and reinvestment of the assets of the High Income Fund, International Growth Fund, Investment Grade Bond Fund, Strategic Alpha Fund and Strategic Income Fund and to provide a range of administrative services to each Fund. For the services described in the advisory agreements, each Fund has agreed to pay Loomis Sayles an advisory fee at the annual rate set forth in the following table:

 

Fund

 

Date of
    Agreement    

   Advisory fee payable by Fund to Loomis Sayles
(as a % of average daily net assets of the Fund)

High Income Fund

 

9/12/03, as

amended,

7/1/04

       0.60%  

International Growth Fund

  12/15/20        0.75%  

Investment Grade Bond Fund

 

10/30/00, as

amended,

7/1/13

       0.40%

    0.38%

 

of the first $15 billion

of amounts in excess of $15 billion

Strategic Alpha Fund

 

12/14/10, as

amended,

7/1/17

       0.60%

    0.55%

 

of the first $1.25 billion

of amounts in excess of $1.25 billion

Strategic Income Fund

 

9/12/03, as

amended,

7/1/14

       0.65%

    0.60%

    0.55%

    0.54%

    0.53%

 

of the first $200 million

of the next $1.8 billion

of the next $13 billion

of the next $10 billion

of amounts in excess of $25 billion

Pursuant to separate advisory agreements, Natixis Advisors, LLC (“Natixis Advisors”) has agreed, subject to the supervision of the Board of the relevant Trust, to manage the investment and reinvestment of the assets of Natixis Oakmark Fund, Natixis Oakmark International Fund and U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund and to provide a range of administrative services to such Funds.

For the services described in the advisory agreements, each such Fund has agreed to pay Natixis Advisors an advisory fee at the annual rate set forth in the following table, reduced by the amount of any subadvisory fees payable directly by a Fund to its subadviser(s) pursuant to any subadvisory agreement:

 

11


Fund

 

Date of

    Agreement    

   Advisory fee payable by Fund to Natixis Advisors
(as a % of average daily net assets of the Fund)

Natixis Oakmark Fund

  10/30/00        0.70%

    0.65%

    0.60%

 

of the first $200 million

of the next $300 million

of the amounts in excess of $500 million

Natixis Oakmark International Fund

 

12/13/2010,

as amended

7/1/19

       0.85%

    0.75%

    0.70%

 

of the first $150 million

of the next $850 million

of the amounts in excess of $1 billion

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

 

10/30/00,

as amended

7/1/22

       0.70%  

Natixis Advisors, in the case of Natixis Oakmark Fund, Natixis Oakmark International Fund and U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund, and Loomis Sayles, in the case of High Income Fund, International Growth Fund, Investment Grade Bond Fund, Strategic Alpha Fund and Strategic Income Fund, have each given a binding contractual undertaking for all classes of the Funds in the table below to waive the advisory fees and, if necessary, to reimburse certain expenses related to operating the Funds in order to limit the Funds’ expenses, exclusive of acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage expenses, interest expense, taxes and organizational and extraordinary expenses, such as litigation and indemnification expenses, to the annual rates indicated below. The undertakings are in effect through April 30, 2024, and will be reevaluated on an annual basis and may be terminated before then only with the consent of the Funds’ Board. Natixis Advisors and Loomis Sayles will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses it has borne through the undertaking described above (whether through waiver of its advisory fee or otherwise) to the extent that a class’s expenses in later periods fall below the annual rate set forth in the relevant undertaking. The Funds will not be obligated to repay any such waived/reimbursed fees and expenses more than one year after the end of the fiscal year in which the fee/expense was waived/reimbursed.

 

Fund    Expense Limit     Date of Undertaking  

High Income Fund*

    

Class A

     1.00     May 1, 2023  

Class C

     1.75     May 1, 2023  

Class N

     0.70     May 1, 2023  

Class T

     1.00     May 1, 2023  

Class Y

     0.75     May 1, 2023  

International Growth Fund*

    

Class A

     1.20     May 1, 2023  

Class C

     1.95     May 1, 2023  

Class N

     0.90     May 1, 2023  

Class Y

     0.95     May 1, 2023  

Investment Grade Bond Fund*

    

Class A

     0.74     July 1, 2022  

Class C

     1.49     July 1, 2022  

Class N

     0.44     July 1, 2022  

Class T

     0.74     July 1, 2022  

Class Y

     0.49     July 1, 2022  

Admin Class

     0.99     July 1, 2022  

Strategic Alpha Fund*

    

Class A

     1.00     May 1, 2023  

Class C

     1.75     May 1, 2023  

Class N

     0.70     May 1, 2023  

Class T

     1.00     May 1, 2023  

Class Y

     0.75     May 1, 2023  

Strategic Income Fund*

    

Class A

     0.94     July 1, 2022  

Class C

     1.69     July 1, 2022  

Class N

     0.64     July 1, 2022  

 

12


Fund    Expense Limit     Date of Undertaking  

Class T

     0.94     July 1, 2022  

Class Y

     0.69     July 1, 2022  

Admin Class

     1.19     July 1, 2022  

Natixis Oakmark Fund**

    

Class A

     1.05     May 1, 2023  

Class C

     1.80     May 1, 2023  

Class N

     0.75     May 1, 2023  

Class T

     1.05     May 1, 2023  

Class Y

     0.80     May 1, 2023  

Natixis Oakmark International Fund**

    

Class A

     1.15     May 1, 2023  

Class C

     1.90     May 1, 2023  

Class N

     0.85     May 1, 2023  

Class T

     1.15     May 1, 2023  

Class Y

     0.90     May 1, 2023  

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund***

    

Class A

     1.15     July 1, 2022  

Class C

     1.90     July 1, 2022  

Class N

     0.85     July 1, 2022  

Class T

     1.15     July 1, 2022  

Class Y

     0.90     July 1, 2022  

 

*

Natixis Advisors will bear a portion of the waiver and/or expense reimbursement. The Natixis Advisors portion of the waiver and/or expense reimbursement will be equal to the ratio of the Natixis Advisors Support Services Fee divided by the management fee earned by Loomis Sayles.

**

Natixis Advisors and Harris Associates L.P. (Harris Associates) have agreed to bear the fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement jointly on a pro rata basis relative to their advisory and sub-advisory fees, respectively.

***

Natixis Advisors and each subadviser have agreed to bear the fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement jointly on a pro rata basis relative to their advisory and sub-advisory fees, respectively.

SUBADVISORY FEES

Each advisory agreement between Natixis Advisors and a Fund provides that Natixis Advisors may delegate its responsibilities thereunder to other parties. Pursuant to separate subadvisory agreements, Natixis Advisors has delegated its portfolio management responsibilities to one or more subadvisers, as follows: Harris Associates, in the case of Natixis Oakmark Fund and Natixis Oakmark International Fund; and Harris Associates and Loomis Sayles, in the case of U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund. For the services described in the subadvisory agreements, each Fund has agreed to pay its respective subadviser(s) a subadvisory fee at the annual rate set forth in the following table:

 

Fund

  

Subadviser

  

Date of
Subadvisory
Agreement

   Subadvisory fee payable to Subadviser
(as a % of average daily net assets of the Fund/Segment)

Natixis Oakmark Fund

   Harris Associates   

10/29/02, as

amended 2/28/14

    

0.52

0.50


 

of the first $200 million

of the amounts in excess of $200 million

Natixis Oakmark International Fund

   Harris Associates   

12/13/10, as

amended 7/1/19

    

0.60

0.50

0.45


 

of the first $150 million

of the next $850 million

of the amounts in excess of $1 billion

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

   Harris Associates – Large Cap Value Segment   

10/30/00, as

amended 2/28/14

     0.52   on all assets of the Large Cap Value segment
  

Loomis Sayles –

All Cap Growth Segment

  

5/18/01, as

amended 2/28/14

     0.35   on all assets of the All Cap Growth segment

 

13


Payment of Advisory and Subadvisory Fees

Advisory fees and subadvisory fees are allocated and paid on a pro rata basis by each class of each Fund based on the relative net assets of each class to the total net assets of that Fund. For the periods shown below, the following table shows the total advisory fees (including subadvisory fees) paid by the Funds, and of these amounts, the total paid to Natixis Advisors and the total paid to a subadviser of a Fund:

 

HIGH INCOME FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 669,082      $ 726,613      $ 770,775  

Fee Waived

   $ 243,461      $ 232,671      $ 230,050  

Total Paid

   $ 425,621      $ 493,942      $ 540,725  

 

INVESTMENT GRADE BOND FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 22,550,836      $ 25,154,197      $ 24,955,988  

Fee Waived

   $ 2,021,089      $ 2,306,970      $ 2,989,460  

Total Paid

   $ 20,529,747      $ 22,847,227      $ 21,966,528  

 

STRATEGIC INCOME FUND*

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
9/30/20
     Fiscal Period Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 36,847,870      $ 8,602,302      $ 30,794,434      $ 23,373,236  

Fee Waived

   $ 0      $ 0      $ 378,293      $ 1,331,797  

Total Paid

   $ 36,847,870      $ 8,602,302      $ 30,416,141      $ 22,041,439  

 

INTERNATIONAL GROWTH FUND**

 

     Fiscal Period Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 4,945      $ 181,065      $ 166,121  

Fee Waived

   $ 4,945      $ 145,776      $ 166,121  

Total Paid

   $ 0      $ 35,289      $ —    

 

STRATEGIC ALPHA FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 7,083,082      $ 8,512,743      $ 6,601,307  

Fee Waived

   $ 0      $ 0      $ —    

Total Paid

   $ 7,083,082      $ 8,512,743      $ 6,601,307  

 

NATIXIS OAKMARK FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 1,564,875      $ 2,106,551      $ 2,959,141  

Natixis Advisors

        

Fees Earned

   $ 398,048      $ 523,050      $ 719,802  

Fee Waived

   $ 0      $ 21,587      $ 57,870  

Total Paid

   $ 398,048      $ 501,463      $ 661,932  

Harris Associates

        

Fees Earned

   $ 1,166,827      $ 1,583,501      $ 2,239,339  

Fee Waived

   $ 0      $ 65,720      $ 179,619  

Total Paid

   $ 1,166,827      $ 1,517,781      $ 2,059,720  

 

14


NATIXIS OAKMARK INTERNATIONAL FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 3,896,753      $ 4,216,094      $ 3,278,920  

Natixis Advisors

        

Fee Earned

   $ 1,248,918      $ 1,355,365      $ 1,042,973  

Fee Waived

   $ 119,226      $ 295,109      $ 301,547  

Total Paid

   $ 1,129,691      $ 1,060,256      $ 741,426  

Harris Associates

        

Fee Earned

   $ 2,647,836      $ 2,860,729      $ 2,235,947  

Fee Waived

   $ 253,348      $ 622,917      $ 646,444  

Total Paid

   $ 2,394,488      $ 2,237,812      $ 1,589,503  

 

U.S. EQUITY OPPORTUNITIES FUND

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

Total Advisory Fee

   $ 6,544,600      $ 7,835,017      $ 6,413,195  

Natixis Advisors

        

Total Paid

   $ 2,888,373      $ 3,272,764      $ 2,509,892  

Harris Associates

        

Total Paid

   $ 1,841,657      $ 2,742,642      $ 2,495,013  

Loomis Sayles

        

Total Paid

   $ 1,814,570      $ 1,819,611      $ 1,408,289  

 

*

Effective December 2, 2020, the Strategic Income Fund’s fiscal year end was changed from September 30 to December 31.

**

The International Growth Fund commenced operations on December 15, 2020.

For more information about the Funds’ advisory and subadvisory agreements, see the section “Investment Advisory and Other Services” in this Statement.

The tables below shows the expenses of the Funds that were reimbursed by Loomis Sayles for the periods shown below, as applicable.

 

Fund

   Fiscal Period Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year Ended
12/31/22
 

International Growth Fund*

   $ 29,987      $ —        $ —    

 

*

The International Growth Fund commenced operations on December 15, 2020.

BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS

Set forth below are the amounts each Fund paid in brokerage commissions and the amount of brokerage transactions allocated to brokers providing research services during the periods shown below, as applicable. Loomis Sayles has a comprehensive internal voting process whereby the equity portfolio managers, research analysts and strategists vote on various aspects of a broker-dealer’s qualitative services, which include without limitation: research and other services, idea generation, models, expert consultants, political and economic analysts, technical analysts, discussions with research analysts and corporate executives, seminars and conferences (the “Equity Research Vote”). The Equity Research Vote is performed on a quarterly basis.

For a description of how transactions in portfolio securities are effected and how the Funds’ advisers or subadvisers select brokers, see the section entitled “Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage” in this Statement.

 

15


High Income Fund

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 70      $ 1,340      $ 315  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

 

Investment Grade Bond Fund*

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 41      $ 101,817      $ 59,907  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

 

*

The aggregate brokerage commissions paid changed significantly from 2020 to 2021 as a result of increased trading volume in the Fund’s portfolio.

 

Strategic Income Fund1*

 

  
     Fiscal Year
Ended
09/30/20
     Fiscal Period
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 
  

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —        $ —    
  

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 3,803      $ 47,171      $ 299,429      $ 81,320  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —        $ —    

 

1 

Effective December 2, 2020, Strategic Income Fund’s fiscal year end was changed from September 30 to December 31.

*

The aggregate brokerage commissions paid changed significantly from 2020 to 2021 as a result of increased trading volume in the Fund’s portfolio, respectively.

 

International Growth Fund2

 

     Fiscal Period
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

     N/A      $ 9,933,385      $ 10,568,393  

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 6,921      $ 10,261      $ 8,420  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

     N/A      $ 9,184      $ 8,420  

 

2 

The International Growth Fund commenced operations on December 15, 2020.

 

16


Strategic Alpha Fund

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 241,819      $ 190,937      $ 71,278  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

 

Natixis Oakmark Fund

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 124,851,793      $ 98,599,324      $ 470,651,145  

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 50,370      $ 32,807      $ 165,078  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 46,789      $ 32,125      $ 82,466  

 

Natixis Oakmark International Fund

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 64,723,172      $ 231,502,058      $ 137,262,093  

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 216,780      $ 163,057      $ 139,415  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 193,716      $ 159,440      $ 43,080  

 

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

 

     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

Brokerage Transactions

 

Allocated to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 557,823,821      $ 746,512,598      $ 824,930,516  

Brokerage Commissions

 

Total Brokerage Commissions Paid

   $ 197,763      $ 114,240      $ 221,715  

Commissions Paid to Brokers Providing Research Services

   $ 190,045      $ 212,054      $ 145,893  

 

17


REGULAR BROKER-DEALERS

The table below contains the aggregate value of securities of each Fund’s “regular broker-dealers”* (or the parent of the regular broker-dealers) held by each Fund, if any, as of the close of the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022.

 

Fund

  

Regular Broker-Dealer

   Aggregate Value of
Securities of each Regular
Broker-Dealer (or its
Parent) Held by Fund
 

High Income Fund

   Deutsche Bank AG    $ 939,306  
   Bank of America Corp.    $ 353,664  
   Citigroup Commercial Mortgage Trust    $ 210,600  

Investment Grade Bond Fund

   JPMorgan Chase & Co.    $ 115,590,647  
   Bank of America Corp.    $ 97,833,688  
   Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)    $ 83,584,328  
   Morgan Stanley    $ 78,406,938  
   Barclays PLC    $ 38,809,403  
   Deutsche Bank AG    $ 38,594,240  
   Citigroup, Inc.    $ 36,109,485  
   BNP Paribas S.A    $ 32,235,759  
   Jefferies Financial Group, Inc.    $ 28,805,441  
   UBS-Barclays Commercial Mortgage Trust    $ 863,672  

Strategic Alpha Fund

   Morgan Stanley    $ 16,786,167  
   Credit Suisse Group AG    $ 15,003,040  
   JPMorgan Chase & Co.    $ 10,881,714  
   Barclays PLC    $ 7,579,880  
   Bank of America Corp.    $ 512,320  
   UBS-Barclays Commercial Mortgage Trust    $ 23,975  

Strategic Income Fund

   Barclays PLC    $ 15,910,815  
   Deutsche Bank AG    $ 15,487,396  
   Bank of American Corp.    $ 13,675,240  
   Citigroup Commercial Mortgage Trust    $ 9,327,178  
   Morgan Stanley    $ 4,496,331  
   JPMorgan Chase Commercial Mortgage Securities Trust    $ 3,157,406  

Natixis Oakmark Fund

   Citigroup, Inc.    $ 8,531,192  
   Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)    $ 8,000,067  
   State Street Corp.    $ 7,956,045  
   Bank of America Corp.    $ 5,436,185  

 

18


Fund

  

Regular Broker-Dealer

   Aggregate Value of
Securities of each Regular
Broker-Dealer (or its
Parent) Held by Fund
 

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

   Citigroup, Inc.    $ 14,894,465  
   State Street Corp.    $ 14,815,870  
   Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)    $ 13,975,566  

 

*

“Regular Broker-Dealers” are defined by the SEC as: (a) one of the ten brokers or dealers that received the greatest dollar amount of brokerage commissions by virtue of direct or indirect participation in the company’s portfolio transactions during the company’s most recent fiscal year; (b) one of the ten brokers or dealers that engaged as principal in the largest dollar amount of portfolio transactions of the investment company during the company’s most recent fiscal year; or (c) one of the ten brokers or dealers that sold the largest dollar amount of securities of the investment company during the company’s most recent fiscal year.

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

As explained in this Statement, the Class A, Class C and Class T shares of each Fund and the Admin Class shares of Investment Grade Bond Fund and Strategic Income Fund pay the Distributor fees under plans adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the “Plans”). The following tables show the amounts of Rule 12b-1 fees paid by the Funds under the Plans during the periods shown below. Class T shares of the Funds have not commenced operations and thus the Funds have not paid any Rule 12b-1 fees under the Class T shares Plans as of the date of this Statement. The anticipated benefits to the Funds of the Plans include the ability to attract and maintain assets. See the section “Distribution Agreements and Rule 12b-1 Plans” for more information.

 

Fund

   Fiscal Year/Period
Ended
12/31/20
     Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/21
    Fiscal Year
Ended
12/31/22
 

High Income Fund

       

Class A

   $ 54,502      $ 58,768     $ 45,118  

Class C

   $ 28,379      $ 22,233     $ 13,309  

International Growth Fund*

       

Class A

   $ 0 1     $   196    $ 288  

Class C

   $ 1      $ 313     $ 91  

Investment Grade Bond Fund

       

Class A

   $ 2,037,993      $ 2,072,289     $ 1,696,547  

Class C

   $ 1,646,011      $ 1,000,750     $ 623,095  

Admin Class2

   $ 567,626      $ 648,406     $ 637,254  

Strategic Alpha Fund

       

Class A

   $ 89,110      $ 101,460     $ 91,022  

Class C

   $ 124,463      $ 58,579     $ 34,685  

Natixis Oakmark Fund

       

Class A

   $ 374,751      $ 516,720     $ 515,407  

Class C

   $ 383,967      $ 422,783     $ 565,311  

Natixis Oakmark International Fund

       

Class A

   $ 304,215      $ 372,099     $ 321,347  

Class C

   $ 1,081,617      $ 854,315     $ 492,522  

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

       

Class A

   $ 1,438,095      $ 1,792,773     $ 1,490,974  

Class C

   $ 645,883      $ 617,989     $ 415,782  

 

*

The International Growth Fund commenced operations on December 15, 2020.

1

Less than one dollar.

2

Up to 50% of the fees paid to the Distributor are administrative service fees and are not paid pursuant to a 12b-1 plan.

 

19


Fund

   Fiscal Year
Ended

9/30/20
     Fiscal Period
Ended

12/31/20*
     Fiscal Year
Ended

12/31/21
     Fiscal Year
Ended

12/31/22
 

Strategic Income Fund

           

Class A

   $ 4,323,049      $ 1,063,191      $ 3,982,321      $ 3,152,800  

Class C

   $ 4,644,972      $ 676,652      $ 1,739,361      $ 794,835  

Admin Class2

   $ 564,338      $ 127,980      $ 490,510      $ 391,942  

 

2 

Up to 50% of the fees paid to the Distributor are administrative service fees and are not paid pursuant to a 12b-1 plan.

*

Effective December 2, 2020, the Strategic Income Fund’s fiscal year end was changed from September 30 to December 31.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the Distributor used the Rule 12b-1 fees paid by the Funds under the Plans as follows:

 

Fund

   Compensation to
Broker-Dealers
     Retained by
Distributor
     Total  

High Income Fund

   $ 58,426      $ 0      $ 58,426  

International Growth Fund

   $ 377      $ 0      $ 377  

Investment Grade Bond Fund

   $ 2,956,896      $ 0      $ 2,956,896  

Natixis Oakmark Fund

   $ 1,080,718      $ 0      $ 1,080,718  

Natixis Oakmark International Fund

   $ 813,869      $ 0      $ 813,869  

Strategic Alpha Fund

   $ 125,707      $ 0      $ 125,707  

Strategic Income Fund

   $ 4,339,577      $ 0      $ 4,339,577  

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

   $ 1,906,756      $ 0      $ 1,906,756  

OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES

As of April 1, 2023, to the Trusts’ knowledge, the following persons owned of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the indicated classes of the Funds set forth below.1 Class T shares of the Funds did not have shares outstanding as of April 1, 2023.

 

20


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  

High Income Fund

 

Class A

  

Deferred Compensation Plan for General

Agents of New England Fin Met Life

Securities Accounting

Boston, MA 02111-2621

     17.90
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     6.84
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     6.08
  

TD Ameritrade Inc

For the Exclusive Benefits of Its Customers

Omaha, NE 68103-2226

     5.21
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For the Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1901

     5.11

Class C

  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     14.02
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     10.46
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For the Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     9.28
  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     9.05
  

National Financial Services LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     8.14
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     7.54
  

Edward D. Jones and Co.

For The Benefit of Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63131-3710

     7.25

 

21


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

National Financial Services LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     7.06

Class N

  

Voya Retirement

Windsor, CT 06095-4773

     84.27
  

Ascensus Trust Company

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Fargo, ND 58106-0758

     12.35

Class Y

  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     33.49
  

Empower Trust For the

Exclusive Benefits of Its Customers

Greenwood Village, CO 80111-5002

     22.08
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     6.45

Investment Grade Bond Fund

 

Class A

  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     19.66
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     11.21
  

National Financial Services

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     7.71
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     6.32
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     5.84
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

San Francisco, CA 94104-4151

     5.26

Class C

  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     23.56

 

22


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Acct

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     15.31
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     10.27
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     9.87
  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 32246-6484

     7.85
  

American Enterprise Investment Svc.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     6.70
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94104-4151

     6.41
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     5.61
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     5.16

Class N

  

Edward D. Jones and Co.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63131-3710

     65.88

Class Y

  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     12.72
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     12.16
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     9.65

 

23


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     9.31
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     7.05
  

American Enterprise Investment Svc.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     7.03
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94104-4151

     5.63

Admin Class

  

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

Saint Paul, MN 55101-2099

     92.27

Strategic Income Fund

 

Class A

  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

For the Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     27.05
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC

For the Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     15.94
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     9.30
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     7.68

Class C

  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     19.69
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     16.02
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

For the Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     13.89
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     7.90

 

24


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     7.82
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     7.38
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     6.49
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefits of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94104-4151

     5.68

Class N

  

National Financial Services, LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     31.07
  

National Financial Services, LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     22.78
  

National Financial Services, LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     8.77
  

National Financial Services, LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995

     8.55
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith LLC

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     5.28

Class Y

  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

For The Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     24.84
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     16.77
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     13.07
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     5.71

Admin Class

  

Voya Institutional Trust Company

Windsor, CT 06095-4773

     87.50

Strategic Alpha Fund2

 

Class A

  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefits of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94104-4151

     20.00

 

25


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     17.44
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     16.47
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     9.42
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     8.62
  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     6.65

Class C

  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     48.20
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC 

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     13.50
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     9.76
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     9.58
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     8.48

Class N

  

Band & Co C/O US Bank NA

Milwaukee, WI 53201-1787

     56.00
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     17.27
  

Capinco & Co C/O US Bank NA

Milwaukee, WI 53201-1787

     7.97
  

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787

     5.88

Class Y

  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     40.38

 

26


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     10.01
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     6.91
  

TD Ameritrade Inc

For the Exclusive Benefits of Its Customers

Omaha, NE 68103-2226

     6.10
  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     5.83

Natixis Oakmark Fund

 

Class A

  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     9.04
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     8.29
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

For The Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     7.76

Class C

  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     23.59
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     18.11
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     11.87
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     10.29
  

Raymond James

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     7.91
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

For The Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     7.75
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     6.02

 

27


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  

Class N

  

JP Morgan Securities LLC

Omnibus Account

For Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Brooklyn, NY 11245-0003

     99.03

Class Y

  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     19.86
  

American Enterprise Investment Services

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     16.09
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     10.72
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     10.48
  

Raymond James 

Omnibus for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     9.93

Natixis Oakmark International Fund3

 

Class A

  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     34.29
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     16.59
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     9.57
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     6.08
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     5.60

Class C

  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     33.62
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     13.08

 

28


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     11.84
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     9.20
  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     5.10

Class N

  

JP Morgan Securities LLC

Omnibus Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Brooklyn, NY 11245-0003

     70.44
  

Mid Atlantic Trust Company

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4228

     26.53

Class Y

  

American Enterprise Investment Svc.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     45.72
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     11.71
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     11.26
  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     10.33

International Growth Fund4

 

Class A

  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     97.70

Class C

  

Natixis Advisors, LLC

Boston, MA 02199-8197

     100.00

Class N

  

Natixis Investment Managers, LLC

Boston, MA 02199-8197

     88.15

Class Y

  

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

San Francisco, CA 94105-1905

     97.70

 

29


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  

U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund

 

Class C

  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

St. Louis, MO 63103-2523

     32.49
  

American Enterprise Investment Svc.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     9.76
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account for Mutual Funds

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     9.54
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     8.60
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     8.00
  

Pershing LLC

Jersey City, NJ 07399-0001

     6.62
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     6.02

Class N

  

JP Morgan Securities LLC

Omnibus Account

For the Exclusive Benefit of its Customers

Brooklyn, NY 11245-0003

     98.96

Class Y

  

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

For the Exclusive Benefit of its Customers

New York, NY 10004-1932

     10.23
  

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

For the Sole Benefit of Its Customers

Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484

     8.44
  

Raymond James

Omnibus Account for Mutual Funds

St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1100

     8.27
  

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC

Special Custody Account

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523

     6.70
  

American Enterprise Investment Svc.

For The Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers

Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405

     6.48

 

30


FUND

  

SHAREHOLDER

   PERCENTAGE  
  

UBS WM USA

Omnibus Account M/F

Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761

     5.66
  

LPL Financial

Omnibus Customer Account

San Diego, CA 92121-3091

     5.93

 

31


1 

Such ownership may be beneficially held by individuals or entities other than the owner listed. To the extent that any listed shareholder beneficially owns more than 25% of a Fund, it may be deemed to “control” such Fund within the meaning of the 1940 Act. The effect of such control may be to reduce the ability of other shareholders of such Fund to take actions requiring the affirmative vote of holders of a plurality or majority of the Fund’s shares without the approval of the controlling shareholder.

2

As of April 3, 2023, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., San Francisco, CA 94105-1905, owned 36.14% of the Strategic Alpha Fund and therefore may be presumed to “control” the Fund, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act. However, such ownership may be beneficially held by individuals or entities other than Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

3

As of April 3, 2023, American Enterprise Investment Svc., Minneapolis, MN 55402-2405, owned 25.77% of the Natixis Oakmark International Fund and therefore may be presumed to “control” the Fund, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act. However, such ownership may be beneficially held by individuals or entities other than, American Enterprise Investment Svc.

4

As of April 3, 2023, Natixis Advisors, LLC, Boston, MA 02199-8197, owned 73.68% of the International Growth Fund and therefore may be presumed to “control” the Fund, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act. However, such ownership may be beneficially held by individuals or entities other than Natixis Advisors, LLC.

 

32


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

THE TRUSTS

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

 

Trust Name

  

Date

The New England Life Government Securities Trust    June 1985 to August 1986
The New England Funds    September 1986 to March 1994
New England Funds Trust I    April 1994 to January 2000
Nvest Funds Trust I    February 2000 to April 2001
CDC Nvest Funds Trust I    May 2001 to April 2005
IXIS Advisor Funds Trust I    May 2005 to August 2007
Natixis Funds Trust I    August 2007 to present

Natixis Funds Trust I has eight (8) separate portfolios. Loomis Sayles Core Plus Bond Fund has a different fiscal year end and information regarding this portfolio can be found in the Natixis Funds’ Statement of Additional Information dated February 1, 2023. Information for five (5) of these portfolios can be found in the Statement of Additional Information for the Mirova Global Green Bond Fund, Mirova Global Sustainable Equity Fund, Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund, Mirova U.S. Sustainable Equity Fund and Vaughan Nelson Small Cap Value Fund dated May 1, 2023.

 

33


Natixis Funds Trust II is registered with the SEC as an open-end management investment company and is organized as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of Massachusetts pursuant to a Declaration of Trust dated May 6, 1931, as amended and restated on June 2, 2005, and consisted of a single Fund (now the Natixis Oakmark Fund) until January 1989, when it was reorganized as a “series” company as described in Section 18(f)(2) of the 1940 Act. Currently, each series of Natixis Funds Trust II, except Vaughan Nelson Select Fund, is diversified. The name of Natixis Funds Trust II has changed several times since its organization, as noted below:

 

Trust Name

  

Date

Investment Trust of Boston    May 1931 to November 1988
Investment Trust of Boston Funds    December 1988 to April 1992
TNE Funds Trust    April 1992 to March 1994
New England Funds Trust II    April 1994 to January 2000
Nvest Funds Trust II    January 2000 to April 2001
CDC Nvest Funds Trust II    May 2001 to April 2005
IXIS Advisor Funds Trust II    May 2005 to August 2007
Natixis Funds Trust II    August 2007 to present

Natixis Funds Trust II currently has eight (8) separate portfolios. Information for three (3) portfolios, Loomis Sayles Global Growth Fund, Loomis Sayles Senior Floating Rate and Fixed Income Fund and Vaughan Nelson Select Fund can be found in their Statement of Additional Information dated April 1, 2023. Information for three (3) other portfolios can be found in the Statement of Additional Information for the AlphaSimplex Global Alternatives Fund, AlphaSimplex Managed Futures Strategy Fund and Vaughan Nelson Mid Cap Fund dated May 1, 2023. Strategic Alpha Fund commenced operations on December 15, 2010. Natixis Oakmark Fund was organized in 1931 and commenced operations on May 6, 1931. Prior to March 1, 2014, the Natixis Oakmark Fund was named “Harris Associates Large Cap Value Fund” and prior to March 1, 2004, Harris Associates Large Cap Value Fund was named “Harris Associates Growth and Income Fund.”

Loomis Sayles Funds II is registered with the SEC as an open-end management investment company. Loomis Sayles Funds II is organized as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of Massachusetts by a Declaration of Trust dated February 20, 1991, as amended and restated on July 21, 2005 (the “Declaration of Trust”), and is a “series” company as described in Section 18(f)(2) of the 1940 Act. Currently, each series of Loomis Sayles Funds II, except International Growth Fund, is diversified. Prior to July 1, 2003, Loomis Sayles Funds II was named “Loomis Sayles Funds.”

Loomis Sayles Funds II has ten (10) separate portfolios. Information for six (6) portfolios, Loomis Sayles Credit Income Fund, Loomis Sayles Global Allocation Fund, Loomis Sayles Growth Fund, Loomis Sayles Limited Term Government and Agency Fund, Loomis Sayles Small Cap Growth Fund and Loomis Sayles Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund can be found in their Statements of Additional Information dated February 1, 2023. High Income Fund commenced operations on February 22, 1984 and was reorganized from Natixis Funds Trust I into Loomis Sayles Funds II on September 12, 2003. Prior to September 12, 2003, the name of the Fund was “CDC Nvest High Income Fund.” Investment Grade Bond Fund was organized in Massachusetts and commenced operations on December 31, 1996. International Growth Fund was organized in 2020 and commenced operations on December 15, 2020. Strategic Income Fund was organized in 1995 and commenced operations on May 1, 1995, and was reorganized from Natixis Funds Trust I into Loomis Sayles Funds II on September 12, 2003. Prior to September 12, 2003, the name of the Fund was “CDC Nvest Strategic Income Fund.”

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

Investment Strategies

The descriptions below summarize and describe certain investment strategies, including particular types of securities, instruments, or specific practices that may be used by the adviser or subadviser of a Fund in managing the Fund. Each Fund’s principal strategies are described in its Prospectus. Due to the multi-manager approach of the U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund, investing in a certain security or engaging in a certain practice may be a principal strategy for one segment of the Fund and a secondary strategy for another segment of the Fund. Additionally, due to Strategic Alpha Fund’s use of derivative instruments, the Funds are subject to many of the risks below indirectly through their derivative transactions as well as directly through investment in the actual securities themselves. For example, to the extent Strategic Alpha Fund enters into a futures contract on an equity index, the Fund is subject to “equity securities” risk, and to the extent a Fund enters into an interest rate swap contract, the Fund is subject to “interest rate” risk. This Statement describes some of the non-principal strategies the Funds may use, in addition to providing additional information, including related risks, about their principal strategies.

 

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

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (“ARM”) Securities

Some Funds may invest in ARMs. An ARM, like a traditional mortgage security, is an interest in a pool of mortgage loans that provides investors with payments consisting of both principal and interest as mortgage loans in the underlying mortgage pool are paid off by the borrowers. ARMs have interest rates that are reset at periodic intervals, usually by reference to some interest rate index or market interest rate. Although the rate adjustment feature may act as a buffer to reduce sharp changes in the value of adjustable rate securities, these securities are still subject to changes in value based on changes in market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Since the interest rates are reset only periodically, changes in the interest rate on ARMs may lag behind changes in prevailing market interest rates. In addition, some ARMs (or the underlying mortgages) are subject to caps or floors that limit the maximum change in interest rate during a specified period or over the life of the security. As a result, changes in the interest rate on an ARM may not fully reflect changes in prevailing market interest rates during certain periods. Because of the resetting of interest rates, ARMs are less likely than non-adjustable rate securities of comparable quality and maturity to increase significantly in value when market interest rates fall. In addition, a Fund will not benefit from increases in interest rates to the extent that interest rates rise to the point where they cause the current coupon of the underlying ARM to exceed a cap rate for a particular mortgage. See the section “Mortgage-Related Securities” for more information on the risks involved in ARMs.

Asset-Backed Securities

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

In addition, the value of some mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities in which a Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates, and the ability of a Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may

 

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

Asset-backed securities also involve the risk that borrowers may default on the obligations backing them and that the values of and interest earned on such investments will decline as a result. Loans made to lower quality borrowers, including those of sub-prime quality, involve a higher risk of default. Therefore, the values of asset-backed securities backed by lower quality assets, such as lower quality loans, including those of sub-prime quality, may suffer significantly greater declines in value due to defaults, payment delays or a perceived increased risk of default, especially during periods when economic conditions worsen. During periods of deteriorating economic conditions, such as recessions or periods of rising unemployment, delinquencies and losses generally increase, sometimes dramatically, with respect to securitizations involving loans, sales contracts, receivables and other obligations underlying asset-backed securities.

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

Bank-Issued Investments

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

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

 

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Bank Loans, Loan Participations and Assignments

Some Funds may invest in bank loans, which include both senior secured and unsecured floating rate loans made by banks and other financial institutions to corporate customers. Typically, these loans hold the most senior position in a borrower’s capital structure, may be secured by the borrower’s assets and have interest rates that reset frequently. Senior loans can include term loans, revolving credit facility loans and second lien loans. The proceeds of senior loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends, and, to a lesser extent, to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. These loans may not be rated investment-grade by the rating agencies. Although secured loans are secured by collateral of the borrower, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the borrower’s obligation, or that the collateral can be liquidated. Economic downturns generally lead to higher non-payment and default rates and a senior loan could lose a substantial part of its value prior to a default. However, as compared to junk bonds, senior floating rate loans are typically senior in the capital structure and are often secured by collateral of the borrower. Some senior loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could subordinate such senior loans to presently existing or future indebtedness of the borrower or take other action detrimental to the holders of senior loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such senior loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the borrower.

A Fund’s investments in loans are subject to credit/counterparty risk and, as described above, even secured bank loans may not be adequately collateralized. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks, and may be highly speculative. The interest rates on many bank loans reset frequently, and therefore investors are subject to the risk that the return will be less than anticipated when the investment was first made. Most bank loans, like most investment-grade bonds, are not traded on any national securities exchange. Bank loans generally have less liquidity than investment grade bonds and there may be less public information available about them. A Fund may participate in the primary syndicate for a bank loan or it may also purchase loans from other lenders (sometimes referred to as loan assignments).

Bank loans are generally less liquid than many other debt securities. Transactions in bank loans may settle on a delayed basis, such that a Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a substantial period of time after the sale. As a result, the proceeds related to the sale of bank loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet the Fund’s redemption obligations until a substantial period after the sale of the loans. In order to finance redemptions pending settlement of bank loans, a Fund may employ a wide variety of means to meet short-term liquidity needs, including, without limitation drawing on its cash and other short-term positions, all of which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. With limited exceptions, the adviser will take steps intended to ensure that it does not receive material non-public information about the issuers of bank loans who also issue publicly traded securities, and therefore the adviser may have less information than other investors about certain of the loans in which it seeks to invest.

Large loans to corporations or governments may be shared or syndicated among several lenders, usually (but often not limited to) banks. A Fund may participate in the primary syndicate for a loan or it may also purchase loans from other lenders (sometimes referred to as loan assignments), in either case becoming a direct lender. A Fund also may acquire a participation interest in another lender’s portion of the loan. Participation interests involve special types of risk, including liquidity risk and the risks of being a lender. Loans and loan participations may be transferable among financial institutions; however, they may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and because they may be subject to restrictions on resale, they are potentially illiquid. The purchase or sale of loans may require the consent of a third party or of the borrower, and although such consent is rarely withheld in practice, the consent requirement could delay a purchase or affect the Fund’s ability to dispose of its investments in loans in a timely fashion. Although the market for loans and loan participations has become increasingly liquid over time, this market is still developing, and there can be no assurance that adverse developments with respect to this market or particular borrowers will not prevent a Fund from selling these loans at their market values at a desirable time or price. To the extent a senior loan has been deemed illiquid, it will be subject to a Fund’s restrictions on investment in illiquid securities. When investing in a loan participation, a Fund typically will have the right to receive payments only from the lender to the extent the lender receives payments from the borrower, and not from the borrower itself. Likewise, a Fund typically will be able to enforce its rights only through the lender, and not directly against the borrower. As a result, a Fund will assume the credit/counterparty risk of both the borrower and the lender that is selling the participation.

Investments in loans through direct assignment of a financial institution’s interests with respect to a loan may involve additional risks to a Fund. For example, if the 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 a co-lender.

 

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Some loans may not be considered “securities” for certain purposes under the federal securities laws, and purchasers, such as a Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws. Loans and other debt instruments that are not in the form of securities may offer less legal protection to a Fund in the event of fraud or misrepresentation.

A loan is often administered by a bank or other financial institution that acts as agent for all holders. The agent administers the terms of the loan, as specified in the loan agreement. Unless, under the terms of the loan or other indebtedness, a Fund has direct recourse against the borrower, it may have to rely on the agent to pursue appropriate credit remedies against a borrower. In addition, holders of the loans, such as the Funds, may be required to indemnify the agent bank in certain circumstances.

In addition to investing in senior secured loans, a Fund may invest in other loans, such as second lien loans and other secured loans, as well as unsecured loans. Second lien loans and other secured loans are subject to the same risks associated with investment in senior loans and below investment grade bonds. However, such loans may rank lower in right of payment than senior secured loans, and are subject to additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and any property securing the loan may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to the higher ranking secured obligations of the borrower. Second lien loans and other secured loans are expected to have greater price volatility than more senior loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in lower ranking loans, which would create greater credit/counterparty risk exposure. Each of these risks may be increased in the case of unsecured loans, which are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral.

Each Fund may also gain exposure to loan investments through the use of derivatives. See the section “Derivative Instruments.”

Some of the loans in which a Fund may invest or to which a Fund may gain exposure may be covenant-lite loans, which contain fewer or less restrictive constraints on the borrower than certain other types of loans. Covenant-lite loans generally do not include terms that allow the lender to monitor the performance of the borrower and declare a default or force a borrower into bankruptcy restructuring if certain criteria are breached. Under such loans, lenders typically must rely on covenants that restrict a company from incurring additional debt or engaging in certain actions. Such covenants can only be breached by an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower’s financial condition. Accordingly, a Fund may have fewer rights against a borrower when it invests in or has exposure to such loans and, accordingly, may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in or exposure to loans with additional or more conventional covenants.

Borrowing

A Fund can borrow up to one-third of the Fund’s assets (including the amount borrowed) and use other techniques to purchase investments, to manage its cash flow or to redeem shares, which is a technique called “leverage.” In addition to borrowing money from banks, a Fund may engage in certain other investment transactions that may be viewed as forms of financial leverage – for example, using mortgage dollar rolls, entering into when-issued, delayed-delivery or forward commitment transactions or using derivatives such as futures contracts, warrants, structured notes, foreign currency transactions, credit default swaps, options contracts, swap transactions and forward currency contracts. Because a Fund either (i) sets aside cash (or other liquid assets) on its books in respect of such transactions during the period in which the transactions are open or (ii) otherwise “covers” its obligations under the transactions, such as by holding offsetting investments, the Fund does not consider these transactions to be borrowings for purposes of its investment restrictions or “senior securities” for purposes of the 1940 Act. Borrowing will increase a Fund’s exposure to fluctuations in the prices of its assets and, therefore, the volatility of its share price, exaggerating any increase or decrease in the net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund. In addition, the interest that a Fund pays on borrowed money, together with any other costs of borrowing, are additional costs borne by the Fund and could reduce or eliminate any net investment profits. Unless profits on assets acquired with borrowed funds exceed the costs of borrowing, the use of borrowing will diminish the investment performance of a Fund compared with what it would have been without borrowing. When a Fund borrows money it must comply with certain asset coverage requirements, which at times may require the Fund to dispose of some of its holdings at unfavorable times or prices.

 

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A Fund has entered into a committed, secured line of credit with a bank under which it expects to borrow for investment purposes. In connection with its borrowings under this agreement, a Fund will be required to maintain specified asset coverage with respect to such borrowings by both the 1940 Act and the terms of its credit facility with the bank. The terms of the credit facility will require a Fund to maintain asset coverage levels that may be more restrictive than the provisions of the 1940 Act in connection with borrowings and to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain the line of credit.

In the event of a default under the credit facility, the bank may have the right to cause a liquidation of the collateral (i.e., to sell Fund assets). In addition, in the event of a default, a Fund may delay the payment of redemption requests to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. In certain limited, extreme circumstances, a default might also prevent a Fund from making distributions to shareholders sufficient to eliminate income or excise tax at the Fund level, or to be eligible to be treated as a “regulated investment company” (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). If a Fund were ineligible to be treated as a RIC and if the Fund were unable to cure such ineligibility, the Fund would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net long-term capital gain, would generally be treated as ordinary income in the hands of shareholders.

Collateralized Loan Obligations

Certain Funds may invest in Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLOs”). CLOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CLOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses.

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

Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CLOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities, although an active dealer market may exist for CLOs allowing them to qualify for Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). In addition to the normal risks associated with debt instruments discussed elsewhere in the Prospectus and in this Statement (e.g., prepayment risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, market risk, structural risk, legal risk, default risk and interest rate risk (which may be exacerbated if the interest rate payable on a structured financing changes inversely to changes in interest rates or based on multiples of changes in interest rates)), CLOs may carry additional risks including, but are not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the possibility that the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the possibility that investments in CLOs are subordinate to other classes or tranches thereof; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)

Some Funds may invest in CMOs. CMOs are securities backed by a portfolio of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities held under indentures. CMOs may be issued either by U.S. government instrumentalities or by non-governmental entities. CMOs are not direct obligations of the U.S. government. The issuer’s obligation to make interest and principal payments is secured by the underlying portfolio of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.

 

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CMOs are issued with a number of classes or series, which have different maturities and which may represent interests in some or all of the interest or principal on the underlying collateral or a combination thereof. CMOs of different classes are generally retired in sequence as the underlying mortgage loans in the mortgage pool are repaid. In the event of sufficient early prepayments on such mortgages, the class or series of the CMO first to mature generally will be retired prior to its maturity. Thus, the early retirement of a particular class or series of CMO held by a Fund would have a similar effect to the prepayment of mortgages underlying a mortgage pass-through security. CMOs and other asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities may be considered derivative instruments. CMOs involve risks similar to those described in the section “Mortgage-Related Securities.”

Commodities

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

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

Convertible Securities

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

Contingent Convertible Securities.

Contingent convertible securities (“CoCos”) have no stated maturity, have fully discretionary coupons and are typically issued in the form of subordinated debt instruments. CoCos generally either convert into equity or have their principal written down upon the occurrence of certain triggering events (“triggers”) which may be linked to the issuer’s stock price, regulatory capital thresholds or regulatory actions relating to the issuer’s continued viability, or other pre-specified events. As a result, an investment by a Fund in CoCos is subject to the risk that coupon (i.e., interest) payments or obligations to repay principal may be cancelled by the issuer or a regulatory authority in order to help the

 

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issuer absorb losses. An investment by a Fund in CoCos is also subject to the risk that, in the event of the liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of an issuer prior to a trigger event, a Fund’s rights and claims will generally rank junior to the claims of holders of the issuer’s other debt obligations or may be cancelled entirely. In addition, if CoCos held by a Fund are converted into the issuer’s underlying equity securities following a trigger event, a Fund’s holding may be further subordinated due to the conversion from a debt to equity instrument. Further, the value of an investment in CoCos is unpredictable and will be influenced by many factors and risks, including interest rate risk, credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk and regulatory risk. An investment by a Fund in CoCos may result in losses to the Fund.

Corporate Reorganizations

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

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

Cybersecurity, Operational and Technology Risk

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

 

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attacks through the use of technology, processes and controls. Additionally, such third party service providers may have limited indemnification obligations to the advisers or the Funds. Similar types of cybersecurity risks also are present for issuers of securities in which a Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause a Fund’s investment in such securities to lose value.

Debt Securities

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

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

Because interest rates vary, it is impossible to predict the income of a Fund that invests in debt securities for any particular period. Fluctuations in the value of a Fund’s investments in debt securities will cause the Fund’s NAV to increase or decrease. See section “Variable and Floating Rate Instruments.”

Derivative Instruments

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

Derivatives involve special risks, including credit/counterparty risk, correlation risk, illiquidity, difficulties in valuation, leverage risk and, to the extent the adviser’s or subadviser’s view as to certain market movements is

 

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incorrect, the risk that the use of derivatives could result in significantly greater losses or lower income or gains than if they had not been used. A Fund’s derivative counterparties may experience financial difficulties or otherwise be unwilling or unable to honor their obligations, possibly resulting in losses to the Fund. Losses resulting from the use of derivatives will reduce a Fund’s NAV, and possibly income, and the losses may be significantly greater than if derivatives had not been used. The degree of a Fund’s use of derivatives may be limited by certain provisions of the Code. When used, derivatives may affect the amount, timing and/or character of distributions payable to, and thus taxes payable by, shareholders. Although a Fund’s adviser or subadviser will attempt to ensure that the Fund has sufficient liquid assets to meet its obligations under its derivatives contracts, it is possible that the Fund’s liquid assets may be insufficient to support such obligations under its derivatives positions. See the subsection “Certain Additional Risks of Derivative Instruments” below for additional information about the risks relating to derivative instruments.

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

Futures Contracts

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

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

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

Although many futures contracts call for the delivery (or acceptance) of the specified instrument, futures are usually cash-settled or closed out before the settlement date through the purchase (or sale) of an offsetting contract. If the price of the sale of the futures contract by a Fund is less than the price of the offsetting purchase (in each case taking into account any brokerage commission and other transaction costs), the Fund will realize a loss. A futures sale is closed by purchasing a futures contract for the same aggregate amount of the specific type of financial instrument or commodity and with the same delivery date. Similarly, a futures purchase is closed by the purchaser selling an offsetting futures contract.

Futures contract prices, and the prices of the related contracts in which a Fund may trade, may be highly volatile. Such prices are influenced by, among other things: changing supply and demand relationships; government trade, fiscal, monetary and exchange control programs and policies; national and international political and economic events; and changes in interest rates. In addition, governments from time to time intervene, directly and by regulation, in these markets, with the specific intention of influencing such prices. The effect of such intervention is often heightened by a group of governments acting in concert. However, if futures or options are used to hedge portfolio securities, an increase in the price of the securities, if any, may partially or completely offset losses on the futures contract.

 

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Furthermore, the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading permit an extremely high degree of leverage. Accordingly, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract can result in immediate and substantial losses to the investor. As an added risk in these volatile and highly leveraged markets, it is not always possible to liquidate futures positions to prevent further losses or recognize unrealized gains. Positions in futures contracts and options on futures contracts may be established or closed out only on an exchange or board of trade. There is no assurance that a liquid market on an exchange or board of trade will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. Illiquidity can arise due to daily price limits taking effect or to market disruptions. Futures positions may be illiquid because certain commodity exchanges limit fluctuations in certain futures contract prices during a single day through regulations referred to as “daily price fluctuation limits” or “daily limits.” Under such daily limits, during a single trading day no trades may be executed at prices beyond the daily limits. Once the price of a particular futures contract has increased or decreased by an amount equal to the daily limit, positions in that contract can neither be taken nor liquidated unless market participants are willing to effect trades at or within the limit. Futures prices have occasionally moved beyond the daily limits for several consecutive days with little or no trading. If there is not a liquid market at a particular time, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position at such time, and, in the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin. The potential inability to liquidate futures positions creates the possibility of a Fund being unable to control its losses. If a Fund were to borrow money to use for trading purposes, the effects of such leverage would be magnified. Cash posted as margin in connection with a Fund’s futures contracts will not be available to the Fund for investment or other purposes. In addition, a Fund’s futures broker may limit a Fund’s ability to invest in certain futures contracts. Such restrictions may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

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

Commodity Futures Contracts

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

Storage. Unlike the financial futures markets, in the commodity futures markets there are costs of physical storage associated with purchasing the underlying commodity. The price of the commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity, including the time value of money invested in the physical commodity. To the extent that the storage costs for an underlying commodity change while a Fund is invested in futures contracts on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may also change (even if the Fund does not intend to physically settle the commodity futures contract). While the Funds typically do not intend to physically settle any commodity futures contracts, physical delivery of commodities can result in temporary illiquidity and a Fund would incur additional charges associated with the holding and safekeeping of any such commodities.

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

 

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Speculative Position Limits.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and domestic futures exchanges have established (and continue to evaluate and monitor) speculative position limits (“position limits”) on the maximum speculative position which any person, or group of persons acting in concert, may hold or control in particular contracts. In addition, federal position limits apply to swaps that are economically equivalent to futures contracts that are subject to CFTC set speculative limits. All positions owned or controlled by the same person or entity, even if in different accounts, must be aggregated for purposes of complying with speculative limits. Thus, even if a Fund does not intend to exceed applicable position limits, it is possible that different clients managed by the adviser and its affiliates may be aggregated for this purpose. Therefore, the trading decisions of the adviser may have to be modified and positions held by a Fund liquidated in order to avoid exceeding such limits. The modification of investment decisions or the elimination of open positions, if it occurs, may adversely affect the profitability of the Fund. A violation of position limits could also lead to regulatory action materially adverse to a Fund’s investment strategy.

Index Futures Contracts

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

Options

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

If the holder (writer) of an option wishes to terminate its position, it may seek to effect a closing sale transaction by selling (buying) an option identical to the option previously purchased. The effect of the purchase is that the previous option position will be canceled. A Fund will realize a profit from closing out an option if the price received for selling the offsetting position is more than the premium paid to purchase the option; a Fund will realize a loss from closing out an option transaction if the price received for selling the offsetting option is less than the premium paid to purchase the option (in each case taking into account any brokerage commission and other transaction costs). Since premiums on options having an exercise price close to the value of the underlying securities or futures contracts usually have a time value component (i.e., a value that diminishes as the time within which the option can be exercised grows shorter), the value of an options contract may change as a result of the lapse of time even though the value of the futures contract

 

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or security underlying the option (and of the security or other asset deliverable under the futures contract) has not changed. As an alternative to purchasing call and put options on index futures, a Fund may purchase or sell call or put options on the underlying indices themselves. Such options would be used in a manner similar to the use of options on index futures.

Warrants and Rights

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

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

Options on Indices

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

 

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Options on Futures

Strategic Alpha Fund. An option on a futures contract is the right, purchased for a certain price, to either buy or sell the underlying futures contract during a certain period of time for a fixed price. Options trading requires many of the same skills as does successful futures contract trading. However, since specific market movements of the underlying futures contract must be predicted accurately, the risks involved are somewhat different. For example, if a Fund buys an option (either to sell or buy a futures contract), the Fund will pay a “premium” representing the market value of the option. Unless the price of the futures contract underlying the option changes and it becomes profitable to exercise or offset the option before it expires, the Fund may lose the entire amount of the premium. Conversely, if a Fund sells an option (either to sell or buy a futures contract), the Fund will be credited with the premium but will have to deposit margin due to the Fund’s contingent liability to take or make delivery of the underlying futures contract in the event the option is exercised. The writing of an option involves the risk of losing the entire investment or substantially more than the entire investment, thereby causing significant losses to the client in a relatively short period of time. The ability to trade in or exercise options may be restricted in the event that trading in the underlying futures contract becomes restricted.

Exchange-Traded and Over-the-Counter Options

Some Funds may purchase or write both exchange-traded and over-the-counter (“OTC”) options. OTC options differ from exchange-traded options in that they are bilateral, uncleared contracts, with price and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller, and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-traded options.

An exchange-traded option may be closed out before its scheduled maturity only on an exchange that generally provides a liquid secondary market for an option of the same series. If a liquid secondary market for an exchange-traded option does not exist, it might not be possible to effect a closing transaction with respect to a particular option. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) or other clearing organization may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

For some Funds, rather than transferring margin to and from a counterparty, the Fund’s custodian (or a securities depository acting for the custodian) acts as a Fund’s escrow agent as to securities on which the Fund has written call options. The escrow agent enters into documents known as escrow receipts with respect to the stocks included in the Fund (or escrow receipts with respect to other acceptable securities). The escrow agent releases the stocks from the escrow account when the call option expires or the Fund enters into a closing purchase transaction. Until such release, the underlying stocks cannot be sold by the Fund, which could prevent the Fund from selling securities when it might otherwise wish to do so.

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

Index Warrants

Some Funds may purchase put warrants and call warrants whose values vary depending on the change in the value of one or more specified securities indices (“index warrants”). Index warrants are generally issued by banks or other financial institutions and give the holder the right, at any time during the term of the warrant, to receive, upon exercise of the warrant, a cash payment from the issuer based on the value of the underlying index at the time of exercise. In

 

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general, if the value of the underlying index rises above the exercise price of the index warrant, the holder of a call warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the value of the index and the exercise price of the warrant; if the value of the underlying index falls, the holder of a put warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the exercise price of the warrant and the value of the index. The holder of a warrant would not be entitled to any payments from the issuer at a time when, in the case of a call warrant, the exercise price is more than the value of the underlying index, or in the case of a put warrant, the exercise price is less than the value of the underlying index. If a Fund were not to exercise an index warrant prior to its expiration, then the Fund would lose the amount of the purchase price paid by it for the warrant. A Fund will normally use index warrants in a manner similar to its use of options on securities indices.

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

Forward Contracts

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

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

Forward contracts are subject to many of the same risks as options, warrants and futures contracts described above. As described in the section “Foreign Currency Transactions,” forward contracts may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. In addition, the effect of changes in the dollar value of a foreign currency on the dollar value of the Fund’s assets and on the net investment income available for distribution may be favorable or unfavorable. A Fund’s investments in forward contracts may be subject to foreign currency risk. See the section “Foreign Currency Transactions” for more information.

Additionally, in their forward trading, the Funds are subject to the credit/counterparty risk of, or the inability or refusal to perform with respect to their forward contracts by, the principals with which the Funds trade. Funds on deposit with such principals are generally not protected by the same segregation requirements imposed on CFTC regulated commodity brokers and futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) in respect of customer funds on deposit with them. A Fund may place forward trades through agents, so that the insolvency or bankruptcy of such agents could also subject the Fund to the risk of loss.

 

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Swap Transactions

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

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

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

Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty. See the section “Credit/Counterparty Risk.”

Additionally, U.S. regulators, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and certain other jurisdictions have adopted minimum margin and capital requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives transactions. These rules impose minimum margin requirements on derivatives transactions between a Fund and its swap counterparties and may increase the amount of margin the Fund is required to provide. They also impose regulatory requirements on the timing of transferring margin and the types of margin that can be provided. See the section “Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives” below.

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

 

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Credit Default Swaps

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

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

Credit default swap agreements are subject to greater risk than a direct investment in the reference obligation. Like all swap agreements, credit default swaps are subject to liquidity, credit and counterparty risks. The notional value of credit default swaps with respect to a particular investment is often larger than the total par value of such investment outstanding and, in event of a default, there may be difficulties in making the required deliveries of the reference investments, possibly delaying payments.

A Fund generally may exit its obligations under a credit default swap only by terminating the contract and paying applicable breakage fees, or by entering into an offsetting credit default swap position, which may cause the Fund to incur losses.

Swap Execution Facilities (“SEF”)

Certain derivatives contracts are required to be executed through SEFs. A SEF is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute derivatives by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants in the platform. Such requirements may make it more difficult and costly for investment funds, such as the Fund, to enter into highly tailored or customized transactions. Trading swaps on a SEF may offer certain advantages over traditional bilateral OTC trading, such as ease of execution, price transparency, increased liquidity and/or favorable pricing. Execution through a SEF is not, however, without additional costs and risks, as parties are required to comply with SEF and CFTC rules and regulations, including disclosure and recordkeeping obligations, and SEF rights of inspection, among others. SEFs typically charge fees, and if the Fund executes derivatives on a SEF through a broker intermediary, the intermediary may impose fees as well. The Fund also may be required to indemnify a SEF, or a broker intermediary who executes swaps on a SEF on the Fund’s behalf, against any losses or costs that may be incurred as a result of the Fund’s transactions on the SEF. In addition, the Fund may be subject to execution risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared, and no clearing member is willing to clear the transaction on the Fund’s behalf. In that case, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of any increase in the value of the transaction after the time of the trade. Similar “trade execution” regulations are being implemented in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Structured Notes

Some Funds may invest in a broad category of instruments known as “structured notes.” These instruments are debt obligations issued by industrial corporations, financial institutions or governmental or international agencies. Traditional debt obligations typically obligate the issuer to repay the principal plus a specified rate of interest. Structured notes, by contrast, obligate the issuer to pay amounts of principal or interest that are determined by

 

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reference to changes in some external factor or factors, or the principal and interest rate may vary from the stated rate because of changes in these factors. For example, the issuer’s obligations could be determined by reference to changes in the value of a commodity (such as gold or oil) or commodity index, a foreign currency, an index of securities (such as the S&P 500® Index) or an interest rate (such as the U.S. Treasury bill rate). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations are determined by reference to changes over time in the difference (or “spread”) between two or more external factors (such as the U.S. prime lending rate and the total return of the stock market in a particular country, as measured by a stock index). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations may fluctuate inversely with changes in an external factor or factors (for example, if the U.S. prime lending rate goes up, the issuer’s interest payment obligations are reduced). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations may be determined by some multiple of the change in an external factor or factors (for example, three times the change in the U.S. Treasury bill rate). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations remain fixed (as with a traditional debt instrument) so long as an external factor or factors do not change by more than the specified amount (for example, if the value of a stock index does not exceed some specified maximum), but if the external factor or factors change by more than the specified amount, the issuer’s obligations may be sharply reduced.

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

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

Contracts for Differences

Some Funds may enter into contracts for differences. “Contracts for differences” are swap arrangements in which a Fund may agree with a counterparty that its return (or loss) will be based on the relative performance of two different groups or “baskets” of securities. For example, as to one of the baskets, a Fund’s return is based on theoretical long futures positions in the securities comprising that basket, and as to the other basket, the Fund’s return is based on theoretical short futures positions in the securities comprising that other basket. The notional sizes of the baskets will not necessarily be the same, which can give rise to investment leverage. A Fund may also use actual long and short futures positions to achieve the market exposure(s) as contracts for differences. A Fund may enter into swaps and contracts for differences for investment return, hedging, risk management and for investment leverage.

Loan Based Derivatives

Some Funds may invest in derivative instruments that provide exposure to one or more credit default swaps. For example, a Fund may invest in a derivative instrument known as the Loan-Only Credit Default Swap Index (“LCDX”), a tradable index with 100 equally-weighted underlying single-name loan-only credit default swaps (“LCDS”). Each underlying LCDS references an issuer whose loans trade in the secondary leveraged loan market. A Fund can either

 

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buy the index (take on credit exposure) or sell the index (pass credit exposure to a counterparty). While investing in these types of derivatives will increase the universe of debt securities to which a Fund is exposed, such investments entail additional risks, such as those discussed below, that are not typically associated with investments in other debt securities. Credit default swaps and other derivative instruments related to loans are subject to the risks associated with loans generally, as well as the risks of derivatives transactions.

Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars

Certain Funds may use interest rate caps, floors and collars for the same purposes or similar purposes for which they use interest rate futures contracts and related options. Interest rate caps, floors and collars are similar to interest rate swap contracts because the payment obligations are measured by changes in interest rates as applied to a notional amount and because they are generally individually negotiated with a specific counterparty. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specific index exceeds a specified interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below specified interest rates, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. The purchase of an interest rate collar entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds or falls below a specified interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate collar.

Hybrid Instruments

Certain Funds may invest in hybrid instruments. A hybrid instrument is a type of derivative that combines a traditional stock or bond with an option or forward contract. Generally, the principal amount, amount payable upon maturity or redemption, or interest rate of a hybrid is tied (positively or negatively) to the price of some currency or securities index, another interest rate or some other economic factor (each a “benchmark”). The interest rate or (unlike most fixed-income securities) the principal amount payable at maturity of a hybrid security may be increased or decreased, depending on changes in the value of the benchmark. An example of a hybrid could be a bond issued by an oil company that pays a small base level of interest with additional interest that accrues in correlation to the extent to which oil prices exceed a certain predetermined level. Such a hybrid instrument would be economically similar to a combination of a bond and a call option on oil.

Hybrids can be used as an efficient means of pursuing a variety of investment goals, including currency hedging, duration management and increased total return. Hybrids may not bear interest or pay dividends. The value of a hybrid or its interest rate may be a multiple of a benchmark and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more steeply and rapidly than the benchmark. These benchmarks may be sensitive to economic and political events, such as currency devaluations, which cannot be readily foreseen by the purchaser of a hybrid. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of a hybrid could be zero. Thus, an investment in a hybrid may entail significant market risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional, U.S. dollar-denominated bond that has a fixed principal amount and pays a fixed rate or floating rate of interest. The purchase of hybrids also exposes a Fund to the credit/counterparty risk of the issuer of the hybrids. These risks may cause significant fluctuations in the NAV of a Fund.

Certain hybrid instruments may provide exposure to the commodities markets. These are derivative instruments with one or more commodity-linked components that have payment features similar to commodity futures contracts, commodity options or similar instruments. Commodity-linked hybrid instruments may be either equity or debt securities, leveraged or unleveraged, and are considered hybrid instruments because they have both security and commodity-like characteristics. A portion of the value of these instruments may be derived from the value of a commodity, futures contract, index or other economic variable and therefore are subject to many of the same risks as investments in those underlying securities, instruments or commodities. For more information, see the sections “Commodities” and “Structured Notes.”

Certain issuers of structured products such as hybrid instruments may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, a Fund’s investments in these products may be subject to limits applicable to investments in investment companies and may be subject to restrictions contained in the 1940 Act.

 

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Hedging

Certain Funds’ investment strategies may involve hedging certain risks, such as market risk, interest rate risk, and currency risk through the use of various derivative instruments. It is generally not possible to eliminate all risk of adverse market movement. Suitable hedging transactions may not be available in all circumstances, and there can be no assurance that a Fund will engage in these transactions to reduce exposure to risks when that would be beneficial. The use of hedging instruments may enable a Fund to increase its profits from favorable market price movements and diminish its exposure to market volatility. However, any reduction or increase in the hedge from the theoretical neutral hedge also increases the exposure of the Fund to adverse market price movements, and at times could present material risk to the capital of the Fund.

Investment Pools of Swap Contracts

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

Short Exposure Risk

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

Certain Additional Risks of Derivative Instruments

General. As described in the Prospectus, certain Funds intend to use derivative instruments, including several of the instruments described above, to seek to enhance investment returns as well as for risk management purposes. Although an adviser or subadviser may seek to use these transactions to achieve a Fund’s investment goals, no assurance can be given that the use of these transactions will achieve this result. Any or all of these investment techniques may be used at any time. The ability of a Fund to utilize these derivative instruments successfully will depend on its adviser’s or subadviser’s ability to predict pertinent market movements, which cannot be assured. Furthermore, a Fund’s use of certain derivatives may in some cases involve forms of financial leverage, which involves risk and may increase the volatility of a Fund’s NAV. Leveraging may cause a Fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations when it may not be advantageous to do so. To the extent that a Fund is not able to close out a leveraged position because of market illiquidity, its liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of liquid assets used as collateral for its derivatives transactions. Each Fund will comply with applicable regulatory requirements when implementing these strategies, techniques and instruments. Use of derivatives for other than hedging purposes may be considered a speculative activity, involving greater risks than are involved in hedging. A short exposure

 

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through a derivative may present additional risks. If the value of the asset, asset class or index on which a Fund has obtained a short exposure increases, the Fund will incur a loss. Moreover, the potential loss from a short exposure is theoretically unlimited.

The value of some derivative instruments in which a Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates or other economic factors and the ability of a Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend in part upon the ability of an adviser or subadviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. If an adviser or subadviser incorrectly forecasts such factors and has taken positions in derivative instruments contrary to prevailing market trends, a Fund could be exposed to the risk of loss. If an adviser or subadviser incorrectly forecasts interest rates, market values or other economic factors in using a derivatives strategy for a Fund, a Fund might have been in a better position if it had not entered into the transaction at all. Also, suitable derivative transactions may not be available in all circumstances. The use of these strategies involves certain special risks, including a possible imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between price movements of derivative instruments and price movements of related investments. While some strategies involving derivative instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in related investments or otherwise, due to the possible inability of a Fund to purchase or sell a portfolio security at a time that otherwise would be favorable and the possible inability of the Fund to close out or to liquidate its derivatives positions. In addition, a Fund’s use of such instruments may cause the Fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed at ordinary income tax rates) than if it had not used such instruments. To the extent that a Fund gains exposure to an asset class using derivative instruments backed by a collateral portfolio of other securities, changes in the value of those other securities may result in greater or lesser exposure to that asset class than would have resulted from a direct investment in securities comprising that asset class. A Fund may invest in derivative instruments linked to the returns of one or more hedge funds or groups of hedge funds. To the extent that a Fund invests in such instruments, in addition to the risks associated with investments in derivative instruments generally, a Fund will be subject to the risks associated with investments in hedge funds.

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

The price of index futures may not correlate perfectly with movement in the relevant index due to certain market distortions. See the section entitled “Index Futures Contracts” for more information.

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

 

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Once the daily limit has been reached in a contract, no trades may be entered into at a price beyond the limit, which may prevent the liquidation of open futures or options positions. Futures prices have in the past occasionally exceeded the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading. However, if futures or options are used to hedge portfolio securities, an increase in the price of the securities, if any, may partially or completely offset losses on the futures contract.

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

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

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

In the case of OTC options, a Fund is at risk that the other party to the transaction will default on its obligations, or will not permit a Fund to terminate the transaction before its scheduled maturity. See the section entitled “Credit/Counterparty Risk” below for additional information.

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

Additional Risk Factors in Cleared Derivatives Transactions

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

 

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

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

Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives

The regulation of derivatives transactions and funds that engage in such transactions is an evolving area of law and is subject to modification by government, self-regulatory organization and judicial action. For example, the U.S. government has enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which includes provisions for regulation of the derivatives market, including new clearing, margin, reporting and registration requirements. Various U.S. regulatory agencies have implemented and are continuing to implement rules and regulations prescribed by the Dodd-Frank Act. The European Union, the United Kingdom and some other jurisdictions are also in the process of implementing similar requirements that will affect a Fund when it enters into derivatives transactions with a counterparty organized in that jurisdiction or otherwise subject to that jurisdiction’s derivatives regulations. Because these requirements are relatively new and evolving (and some of the rules are not yet final), their ultimate impact remains unclear. These regulatory changes could, among other things, restrict a Fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions (including because certain types of derivatives transactions may no longer be available to a Fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (including through increased margin requirements), and the Fund may be unable to execute its investment strategy as a result.

It is possible that government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, including futures and swap agreements, may limit or prevent a Fund from using such instruments as part of its investment strategy, and could ultimately prevent a Fund from being able to achieve its investment goals. It is impossible to fully predict the effects of legislation and regulation in this area, but the effects could be substantial and adverse. It is possible that legislative and regulatory activity could limit or completely restrict the ability of a Fund to use these instruments as a part of its

 

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investment strategy, increase the costs of using these instruments or make them less effective. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which a Fund engages in derivative transactions could also prevent a Fund from using these instruments or affect the pricing or other factors relating to these instruments, or may change the availability of certain investments.

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

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

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

Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act governs the use of derivative investments and certain financing transactions by registered investment companies. Among other things, Rule 18f-4 requires funds that invest in derivative instruments beyond a specified limited amount to apply a value-at-risk based limit to their use of certain derivative instruments and financing transactions and to adopt and implement a derivatives risk management program. A fund that uses derivative instruments in a limited amount is not subject to the full requirements of Rule 18f-4. Compliance with the new rule by the Funds could, among other things, make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, or otherwise adversely affect their performance.

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

Credit/Counterparty Risk

A Fund will be exposed to the credit/counterparty risk of the counterparties with which it trades, or the brokers, dealers and exchanges through which it trades, whether it engages in exchange traded or off-exchange transactions. Transactions entered into by the Funds may be executed on various U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges, and may be cleared

 

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

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

When a counterparty’s obligations are not fully secured by collateral, then a Fund is essentially an unsecured creditor of the counterparty. If a counterparty’s credit becomes significantly impaired, multiple requests for collateral posting in a short period of time could increase the risk that a Fund may not receive adequate collateral or that the counterparty may default. If the counterparty defaults, a Fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that a counterparty will be able to meet its obligations pursuant to such contracts or that, in the event of default, the Fund will succeed in enforcing contractual remedies. Credit/counterparty risk still exists even if a counterparty’s obligations are secured by collateral because a Fund’s interest in collateral may not be perfected or additional collateral may not be promptly posted as required. Credit/counterparty risk also may be more pronounced if a counterparty’s obligations exceed the amount of collateral held by a Fund (if any), the Fund is unable to exercise its interest in collateral upon default by the counterparty, or the termination value of the instrument varies significantly from the marked-to-market value of the instrument. As described above, in the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the Funds’ ability to exercise remedies could be stayed or eliminated under new special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty and may prohibit the Fund from exercising termination rights based on the financial institution’s insolvency.

Credit/counterparty risk with respect to derivatives is also being affected by new rules and regulations affecting the derivatives market. Some derivatives transactions are required to be centrally cleared, and, as described above, a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit/counterparty risk of the clearing house and the FCM clearing member through which it holds its cleared position, rather than the credit/counterparty risk of its original counterparty to the derivative transaction. Credit/counterparty risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. A

 

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

The Funds may enter into derivative transactions, repurchase transactions and short sale transactions with a single counterparty or with counterparties that are affiliated with one another. In such an arrangement, a Fund may have significant exposure to that counterparty and the Fund’s credit/counterparty risk will be heightened. The Fund’s derivative counterparties generally will have broad discretion to establish margin requirements for the Fund’s derivative positions, and may be able to change such margin requirements at any time.

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

Other Derivatives; Future Developments

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

CFTC Regulation

The Strategic Alpha Fund is registered as a commodity pool (a “Pool”) under the CEA and Loomis Sayles is registered as a commodity pool operator (the “CPO”) under the CEA with respect to the Pool. The CPO and the Pool are subject to dual regulation by the SEC and CFTC. As a result, additional CFTC-mandated disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping obligations apply with respect to the Pool. Compliance with the CFTC’s regulatory requirements could increase the Pool’s expenses, adversely affecting the Pool’s total return.

The advisers have claimed an exclusion from the definition of CPO pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5 (the “exclusion”) with respect to their operation of each Fund other than Strategic Alpha Fund (the “Excluded Funds”). Accordingly, the advisers, with respect to the Excluded Funds, are not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA. To remain eligible for the exclusion, each of the Excluded Funds will be limited in its ability to use certain financial instruments, including futures and options on futures and certain swaps transactions (“commodity interests”). In the

 

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event that an Excluded Fund’s investments in commodity interests are not within the thresholds set forth in the exclusion, the adviser may be required to register as a CPO and/or “commodity trading advisor” with the CFTC with respect to that Fund. An adviser’s eligibility to claim the exclusion with respect to an Excluded Fund will be based upon, among other things, the level and scope of such Fund’s investment in commodity interests, the purposes of such investments and the manner in which the Fund holds out its use of commodity interests. Each Excluded Fund’s ability to invest in commodity interests is limited by its adviser’s intention to operate the Excluded Fund in a manner that would permit the adviser to continue to claim the exclusion under Rule 4.5, which may adversely affect such Fund’s total return. In the event an adviser becomes unable to rely on the exclusion in Rule 4.5 and is required to register with the CFTC as a CPO with respect to an Excluded Fund, such Fund’s expenses may increase, adversely affecting that Fund’s total return.

Equity Securities

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Exchange-Traded Notes

The Funds may invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”). ETNs are generally unsecured debt securities whose returns are linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange (e.g., the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”)) during normal trading hours. However, investors can also hold the ETN until maturity. At maturity, the issuer pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, adjusted to reflect the performance of the relevant benchmark or strategy factor(s). ETNs generally do not make periodic coupon payments or provide principal protection. ETNs are subject to credit/counterparty risk, and the value of the ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, notwithstanding the performance of the underlying market benchmark or strategy. The value of an ETN may also be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political, or geographic events that affect the referenced underlying benchmark or strategy. When a Fund invests in ETNs it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. These fees and expenses generally reduce the return realized at maturity or upon redemption from an investment in an ETN; therefore, the value of the index underlying the ETN must increase in order for an investor in an ETN to receive at least the principal amount of the investment at maturity or upon redemption. A Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market.

The market price and return of the ETN may not correspond with that of the underlying benchmark or strategy. As a result, there may be times when an ETN share trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy. 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 securities or other components underlying the market benchmark or strategy that the ETN seeks to track. An ETN that is tied to a specific market benchmark or strategy may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market benchmark or strategy.

The returns of some ETNs may be leveraged. Leveraged ETNs are subject to the same risk as other instruments that use leverage in any form. ETNs can, at times, be relatively illiquid, and thus they may be difficult to purchase or sell at an advantageous price. ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) will accept, or a court will uphold, how a Fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes. The tax treatment of income and gains from ETNs is not settled. An adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect a Fund’s ability to qualify for treatment as a RIC under the Code and to avoid a fund-level tax.

Fixed-Income Securities

Some Funds may invest in fixed-income securities. Fixed-income securities pay a specified rate of interest or dividends, or a rate that is adjusted periodically by reference to some specified index or market rate. Fixed-income securities include securities issued by federal, state, local and foreign governments and related agencies, and by a wide range of private or corporate issuers. Fixed-income securities include, among others, bonds, debentures, notes, bills and commercial paper. Because interest rates vary, it is impossible to predict the income of a Fund for any particular period. In addition, the prices of fixed-income securities generally vary inversely with changes in interest rates. Prices of fixed-income securities may also be affected by items related to a particular issue or to the debt markets generally. For example, changes to monetary policy by the Federal Reserve or other regulatory actions could expose fixed income and related markets to heightened volatility, interest rate sensitivity and reduced liquidity, which may impact a Fund’s operations and return potential. The NAV of a Fund’s shares will vary as a result of changes in the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio. As inflation increases, the present value of a Fund’s fixed income investment typically will decline. Investors’ expectation of future inflation can also adversely affect the current value of portfolio investments, resulting in lower asset values and potential losses.

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

 

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

Below investment-grade fixed-income securities are subject to greater credit/counterparty risk and market/issuer risk than higher-quality fixed-income securities. Below investment-grade fixed-income securities are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the ability of the issuer to make timely principal and interest payments. If a Fund invests in below investment-grade fixed-income securities, a Fund’s achievement of its objective may be more dependent on the adviser’s or the subadviser’s own credit analysis than is the case with funds that invest in higher-quality fixed-income securities. The market for below investment-grade fixed-income securities may be more severely affected than some other financial markets by economic recession or substantial interest rate increases, by changing public perceptions of this market, or by legislation that limits the ability of certain categories of financial institutions to invest in these securities. In addition, the secondary market may be less liquid for below investment-grade fixed-income securities. This lack of liquidity at certain times may affect the values of these securities and may make the evaluation and sale of these securities more difficult. Below investment-grade fixed-income securities may be in poor standing or in default and typically have speculative characteristics. These risks are especially acute for distressed instruments, which are securities of issuers in extremely weak financial condition or perceived to have a deteriorating financial condition that will materially affect their ability to meet their financial obligations. Issuers of such instruments are generally experiencing financial or operating difficulties, have substantial capital needs or negative net worth, face special competitive or product obsolescence problems, or may be involved in various stages of bankruptcy, restructuring, or liquidation.

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

Foreign Investment Companies

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

Foreign Securities

The Funds may invest in foreign securities. Foreign securities may include, among other things, securities of issuers organized or headquartered outside the U.S. as well as obligations of supranational entities. The examples described in this section should not be considered a definition of “foreign securities.” In addition to the risks associated with investing in securities generally, such investments present additional risks not typically associated with investments in comparable securities of U.S. issuers. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to these risks to a greater extent than those in more developed markets, as described more fully in the section “Emerging Markets.” The non-U.S. securities in which a Fund may invest, all or a portion of which may be non-U.S. dollar-denominated, may include, among other investments: (a) debt obligations issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. national, provincial, state, municipal or other governments or by their agencies or instrumentalities, including “Brady Bonds;” (b) debt obligations of supranational entities; (c) debt obligations of the U.S. government issued in non-dollar securities; (d) debt obligations and other fixed-income securities of foreign corporate issuers; (e) non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities of U.S. corporate issuers; and (f) equity securities issued by foreign corporations or other business organizations. In addition to the risks associated with investing in foreign securities generally, such investments present additional risks not typically associated with investments in comparable securities of U.S. issuers.

 

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There may be less information publicly available about a foreign corporate or government issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and foreign corporate issuers are not generally subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those in the United States. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which regulates auditors of U.S. public companies, is unable to inspect audit work papers in certain foreign countries. The securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and at times more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. Foreign brokerage commissions and securities custody costs are often higher than those in the United States, and judgments against foreign entities may be more difficult to obtain and enforce. Investors in foreign countries often have limited rights and few practical remedies to pursue shareholder claims, including class actions or fraud claims, and the ability of the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities to bring and enforce actions against foreign issuers or foreign persons is limited. With respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of governmental expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxation, political or financial instability and diplomatic developments that could affect the value of investments in those countries. Foreign issuers may become subject to sanctions imposed by the U.S. or another country or other governmental or non-governmental organizations, which could result in the immediate freeze of the foreign issuers’ assets or securities and/or make their securities worthless. The imposition of such sanctions, such as sanctions imposed against Russia, Russian entities and Russian individuals in 2022, could impair the market value of the securities of such foreign issuers and limit a Fund’s ability to buy, sell, receive or deliver the securities. Sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, may cause volatility in regional and global markets and may negatively impact the performance of various sectors and industries, as well as companies in other countries, which could have a negative effect on the performance of such Fund. If a Fund’s portfolio is over-weighted in a certain geographic region, any negative development affecting that region will have a greater impact on a Fund than a fund that is not over-weighted in that region. The receipt of interest on foreign government securities may depend on the availability of tax or other revenues to satisfy the issuer’s obligations.

Since most foreign securities are denominated in foreign currencies or traded primarily in securities markets in which settlements are made in foreign currencies, the value of these investments and the net investment income available for distribution to shareholders of a Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates or exchange control regulations. To the extent a Fund may purchase securities denominated in foreign currencies, a change in the value of any such currency against the U.S. dollar will result in a change in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets and the Fund’s income available for distribution. The 2008 global economic crisis has caused many European countries to experience serious fiscal difficulties, including bankruptcy, public budget deficits, recession, sovereign default, restructuring of government debt, credit rating downgrades and an overall weakening of the banking and financial sectors. In addition, some European economies may depend on others for assistance, and the inability of such economies to achieve the reforms or objectives upon which that assistance is conditioned may result in deeper and/or longer financial downturns among the Eurozone nations. Recent events in the Eurozone have called into question the long-term viability of the euro as a shared currency among the Eurozone nations. Moreover, strict fiscal and monetary controls imposed by the European Economic and Monetary Union as well as any other requirements it may impose on member countries may significantly impact such countries and limit them from implementing their own economic policies to some degree. As the result of economic, political, regulatory or other actions taken in response to this crisis, including any discontinuation of the euro as the shared currency among the Eurozone nations or the implementation of capital controls or the restructuring of financial institutions, a Fund’s euro-denominated investments may become difficult to value, a Fund may be unable to dispose of investments or repatriate investment proceeds, a Fund’s ability to operate its strategy in connection with euro-denominated securities may be significantly impaired and the value of the Fund’s euro-denominated investments may decline significantly and unpredictably.

The United Kingdom left the European Union (commonly known as “Brexit”) on January 31, 2020. An agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union governing their future trade relationship became effective January 1, 2021, but critical aspects of the relationship remain unresolved and subject to further negotiation and agreement. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and could have negative long-term impacts on financial markets in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. There is still considerable uncertainty remaining in the market regarding the ramifications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the arrangements that will apply to the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union and other countries following its withdrawal; the range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic, and market outcomes are difficult to predict. Moreover, other countries may seek to withdraw from the European Union and/or

 

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abandon the euro, the common currency of the European Union. The ultimate effects of these events and other socio-political or geopolitical issues are not known but could profoundly affect global economies and markets. Whether or not a Fund invests in securities of issuers located in Europe or with significant exposure to European issuers or countries, these events could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments.

Furthermore, many emerging and developing market countries have experienced outbreaks of pandemic or contagious diseases from time to time. Because emerging and developing market countries tend to have less established health care systems, the adverse impact of outbreaks may be more severe for these countries. The risks of such outbreaks and resulting social, political, economic and environmental damage cannot be quantified. Such outbreaks can affect the economies of many nations, individual companies and the market in general. The impact may be short term or may last for an extended period of time.

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

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

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

Canadian Investments

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

 

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Depositary Receipts

Some Funds may invest in foreign equity securities by purchasing “depositary receipts.” Depositary receipts are instruments issued by banks that represent an interest in foreign equity securities held by arrangement with the bank. Depositary receipts can be either “sponsored” or “unsponsored.” Sponsored depositary receipts are issued by banks in cooperation with the issuer of the underlying equity securities. Unsponsored depositary receipts are arranged without involvement by the issuer of the underlying equity securities and, therefore, less information about the issuer of the underlying equity securities may be available and the price may be more volatile than in the case of sponsored depositary receipts. American Depositary Receipts are depositary receipts that are bought and sold in the United States and are typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company. European Depositary Receipts and Global Depositary Receipts are depositary receipts that are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies and evidence ownership of securities issued by either foreign banks or trust companies; they may evidence ownership of securities issued by a U.S. or foreign company. All depositary receipts, including those denominated in U.S. dollars, will be subject to foreign currency risk. See the section “Foreign Currency Transactions” for more information.

Because the Funds may invest in depositary receipts, changes in foreign economies and political climates are more likely to affect a Fund than a mutual fund that invests exclusively in U.S. companies. See the section “Foreign Securities” for more information.

Emerging Markets

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

Many Chinese companies to which a Fund seeks investment exposure use a structure known as a variable interest entity (“VIE”) to address Chinese restrictions on direct foreign investment in Chinese companies operating in different sectors. A Fund’s investment exposure to VIEs may pose additional risks because the Fund’s investment is not made directly in the actual Chinese operating company, but rather in a holding company domiciled outside of China (a Holding Company) whose interests in the business of the underlying Chinese operating company (the VIE) are

 

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established through contracts rather than through equity ownership. The VIE (which the Fund is restricted from owning under Chinese law) is generally owned by Chinese nationals, and the Holding Company (in which the Fund invests) holds only contractual rights (rather than equity ownership) relating to the VIE, typically including a contractual claim on the VIE’s profits. Shares of the Holding Company, in turn, are traded on exchanges outside of China and are available to non-Chinese investors such as the Fund. While the VIE structure is a longstanding practice in China, such arrangements are not formally recognized under Chinese law. However, in late 2021, the Chinese government signaled its interest in implementing filing requirement rules that would both affirm the legality of VIE structures and regulate them. How these filing requirements will operate in practice, and what will be required for approval, remains unclear. While there is optimism that these actions will reduce uncertainty over Chinese actions on VIEs, there is also caution given how unresolved the process is. Until these rules are finalized, and potentially afterwards depending on how they are implemented, there remains significant uncertainty associated with VIE investments. There is a risk that the Chinese government may cease to tolerate VIE structures at any time or impose new restrictions on the structure, in each case either generally or with respect to specific issuers. In such a scenario, the Chinese operating company could be subject to penalties, including revocation of its business and operating license, or the Holding Company could forfeit its interest in the business of the Chinese operating company. Further, in case of dispute (for example, with the Chinese owners of the VIE), the Holding Company’s contractual claims with respect to the VIE may be unenforceable in China, thus limiting the remedies and rights of Holding Company investors such as the Fund. Control over a VIE may also be jeopardized if a natural person who holds the equity interest in the VIE breaches the terms of the contractual arrangements, is subject to legal proceedings, or if any physical instruments or property of the VIE, such as seals, business registration certificates, financial data and licensing arrangements (sometimes referred to as “chops”), are used without authorization. In the event of such an occurrence, a Fund, as a foreign investor, may have little or no legal recourse. Such legal uncertainty may be exploited against the interests of the Holding Company investors, such as the Fund. Further, the Fund will typically have little or no ability to influence the VIE through proxy voting or other means because it is not a VIE owner/shareholder. Foreign companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States, including companies using the VIE structure, could also face delisting or other ramifications for failure to meet the expectations and/or requirements of the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or other U.S. regulators. Any of these risks could reduce the liquidity and value of the Fund’s investments in Holding Companies or render them valueless. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which regulates auditors of U.S. public companies, is unable to inspect audit work papers in certain foreign countries. Investors in foreign countries often have limited rights and few practical remedies to pursue shareholder claims, including class actions or fraud claims, and the ability of the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities to bring and enforce actions against foreign issuers or foreign persons is limited.

Investing Through Stock Connect

International Growth Fund. In addition to the risks described under “Emerging Markets”, there are risks associated with the Fund’s direct or indirect (through, for example, participation notes or other types of equity-linked notes) investment in shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“China A-Shares”) through the Shanghai and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (“Stock Connect”), or that may be available in the future through additional stock connect programs. Stock Connect is a mutual market access program designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) via brokers in Hong Kong. The underdeveloped state of the PRC’s investment and banking system subjects the settlement, clearing, and registration of China A-Shares transactions to heightened risks. Stock Connect can only operate when both China and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. As such, if either or both markets are closed on a U.S. trading day, the Fund may not be able to transact in its China A-Shares, which could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Because Stock Connect is relatively new, its effects on the market for trading China A-Shares are uncertain. In addition, the trading, settlement, and information technology systems required to operate Stock Connect are relatively new and continuing to evolve. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Stock Connect could be disrupted.

PRC regulations require that, in order to sell its China A-Shares, the Fund must pre-deliver the China A-Shares to a broker. If the China A-Shares are not in the broker’s possession before the market opens on the day of sale, the sell order will be rejected. This requirement could limit the Fund’s ability to dispose of its China A-Shares purchased through Stock Connect in a timely manner. Additionally, Stock Connect is subject to daily quota limitations on purchases of China A-Shares. Once the daily quota is reached, orders to purchase additional China A-Shares through Stock Connect will be rejected. The Fund’s investment in China A-Shares may only be traded through Stock Connect and is not otherwise transferable.

 

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Stock Connect utilizes an omnibus clearing structure, and the Fund’s Stock Connect securities will be registered in its sub-custodian’s name on the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (“CSDCC”). This may limit the ability of the adviser to effectively manage the Fund, and may expose the Fund to the credit risk of its sub-custodian or to greater risk of expropriation. While the ultimate investors hold a beneficial interest in Stock Connect securities, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested. In addition, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. Investments in China A-Shares through Stock Connect may be available only through a single broker that is an affiliate of the Fund’s sub-custodian which may affect the quality of the execution provided by such broker. Stock Connect restrictions could also limit the ability of the Fund to sell its China A-Shares in a timely manner, or to sell them at all. Stock Connect is subject to regulation by both China and Hong Kong, and regulators in both jurisdictions may suspend Stock Connect trading, which could limit the ability of the Fund to transact in China A-Shares. Further, different fees, costs and taxes are imposed on non-Chinese investors acquiring China A-Shares through Stock Connect, and these fees, costs and taxes may be higher than comparable fees, costs and taxes imposed on owners of other securities providing similar investment exposure.

Supranational Entities

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

Foreign Currency Transactions

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

To protect against a change in the foreign currency exchange rate between the date on which a Fund contracts to purchase or sell a security and the settlement date for the purchase or sale, to gain exposure to one or more foreign currencies or to “lock in” the equivalent of a dividend or interest payment in another currency, a Fund might purchase or sell a foreign currency on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the prevailing spot rate or may enter into futures contracts on an exchange.

If conditions warrant, a Fund may also enter into contracts with banks or broker-dealers to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”). See section “Derivative Instruments.” Forward contracts are subject to many of the same risks as derivatives described in the section “Derivative Instruments.” Forward contracts may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. A Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies, and the Fund will be subject to increased illiquidity and credit/counterparty risk because forward contracts are not traded on an exchange and often are not standardized. A Fund may also be required to liquidate portfolio assets, or may incur

 

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increased currency conversion costs, to compensate for a decline in the dollar value of a foreign currency occurring between the time when the Fund declares and pays a dividend, or between the time when the Fund accrues and pays an operating expense in U.S. dollars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funding Agreements

Some Funds may invest in Guaranteed Investment Contracts (“GICs”) and similar funding agreements. In connection

 

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with these investments, a Fund makes cash contributions to a deposit fund of an insurance company’s general account. The insurance company then credits to a Fund on a monthly basis guaranteed interest, which is based on an index (such as LIBOR). The funding agreements provide that this guaranteed interest will not be less than a certain minimum rate. The purchase price paid for a funding agreement becomes part of the general assets of the insurance company. GICs are considered illiquid securities and will be subject to any limitations on such investments described elsewhere in this Statement, unless there is an active and substantial secondary market for the particular instrument and market quotations are readily available. Generally, funding agreements are not assignable or transferable without the permission of the issuing company, and an active secondary market in some funding agreements does not currently exist. Investments in GICs are subject to the risks associated with fixed-income instruments generally, and are specifically subject to the credit/counterparty risk associated with an investment in the issuing insurance company.

Geopolitical Risk

Occurrence of global events similar to those in recent years, such as war (including Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine), terrorist attacks, natural or environmental disasters, country instability, infectious disease epidemics, such as that caused by the COVID-19 virus, market instability, debt crises and downgrades, embargoes, tariffs, sanctions and other trade barriers and other governmental trade or market control programs, the potential exit of a country from its respective union and related geopolitical events, may result in market volatility and may have long-lasting impacts on both the U.S. and global financial markets. Events occurring in one region of the world may negatively impact industries and regions that are not otherwise directly impacted by the events. Additionally, those events, as well as other changes in foreign and domestic political and economic conditions, could adversely affect individual issuers or related groups of issuers, securities markets, interest rates, secondary trading, credit ratings, inflation, investor sentiment and other factors affecting the value of the Fund’s investments.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine significantly amplifying already existing geopolitical tensions. The United States and many other countries have instituted various economic sanctions against Russian individuals and entities. The extent and duration of the military action, sanctions imposed and other punitive actions taken and resulting future market disruptions in Europe and globally cannot be easily predicted, but could be significant and have a severe adverse effect on the global economy, securities markets and commodities markets globally.

Additionally, in March 2023, the shut-down of certain financial institutions raised economic concerns over disruption in the U.S. banking system. There can be no certainty that the actions taken by the U.S. government to strengthen public confidence in the U.S. banking system will be effective in mitigating the effects of financial institution failures on the economy and restoring public confidence in the U.S. banking system.

Illiquid Securities

Some Funds may invest in illiquid securities, either by acquiring illiquid investments or owning investments that become illiquid because of financial distress or geopolitical events (such as trading halts, sanctions or wars). Illiquid securities generally are those that are not readily resalable. Securities whose disposition is restricted by federal securities laws may be considered illiquid. Securities generally will be considered “illiquid” if a Fund reasonably expects the security 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 security. Investment in illiquid securities involves the risk that a Fund may be unable to sell such a security at the desired time or at the price at which the Fund values the security. Also, a Fund may incur expenses, losses or delays in the process of registering restricted securities prior to resale.

The Funds have implemented a liquidity risk management program pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with Rule 22e-4, the Funds may not acquire any illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Funds would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. In the event a Fund’s illiquid investments exceed 15% of the Fund’s net assets, the adviser will seek to bring the Fund’s illiquid investments to or below 15% of the Fund’s net assets within a reasonable time.

 

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Indirect Exposure to Cryptocurrency Risk

Cryptocurrencies are currencies which exist in a digital form and may act as a store of wealth, a medium of exchange or an investment asset. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. Some issuers have begun to accept cryptocurrency for payment of services, use cryptocurrencies as reserve assets or invest in cryptocurrencies, and the Funds may invest in securities of such issuers. The Funds may also invest in securities of issuers which provide cryptocurrency-related services.

Cryptocurrencies are subject to fluctuations in value. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by any government, corporation, or other identified body. Rather, the value of a cryptocurrency is determined by other factors, such as the perceived future prospects or the supply and demand for such cryptocurrency in the global market for the trading of cryptocurrency. Such trading markets are unregulated and may be more exposed to operational or technical issues as well as fraud or manipulation in comparison to established, regulated exchanges for securities, derivatives and traditional currencies. The value of a cryptocurrency may decline precipitously (including to zero) for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, regulatory changes, a loss of confidence in its network or a change in user preference to other cryptocurrencies. An issuer that owns cryptocurrencies may experience custody issues, and may lose its cryptocurrency holdings through theft, hacking, and technical glitches in the applicable blockchain. The Funds may experience losses as a result of the decline in value of its securities of issuers that own or have exposure to cryptocurrencies or which provide cryptocurrency-related services, including banks that provide cryptocurrency-related banking services.. If an issuer that owns cryptocurrencies intends to pay a dividend using such holdings or to otherwise make a distribution of such holdings to its stockholders, such dividends or distributions may face regulatory, operational and technical issues.

Factors affecting the further development of cryptocurrencies include, but are not limited to: continued worldwide growth of, or possible cessation of or reversal in, the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets; the developing regulatory environment relating to cryptocurrencies, including the characterization of cryptocurrencies as currencies, commodities, or securities, the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies, and government and quasi-government regulation or restrictions on, or regulation of access to and operation of, cryptocurrency networks and the exchanges on which cryptocurrencies trade, including anti-money laundering regulations and requirements; perceptions regarding the environmental impact of a cryptocurrency; changes in consumer demographics and public preferences; general economic conditions; maintenance and development of open-source software protocols; the availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services; the use of the networks supporting digital assets, such as those for developing smart contracts and distributed applications; and general risks tied to the use of information technologies, including cyber risks. A hack or failure of one cryptocurrency may lead to a loss in confidence in, and thus decreased usage and/or value of, other cryptocurrencies.

Inflation-Linked and Inflation-Indexed Securities

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

Although inflation-linked and -indexed securities protect their holders from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may result in a decline in value. The values of inflation-linked and -indexed securities generally fluctuate in response to changes to real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a rate faster than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of the inflation-linked and –indexed securities. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of inflation-linked and –indexed securities. If inflation is lower than expected during a period in which a Fund holds inflation-linked or –indexed securities, the Funds may earn less on such securities than on a conventional security. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in inflation-linked and –indexed securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the

 

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price index used as a reference for the securities. There can be no assurance that the price index used for an inflation-linked and –indexed security will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Inflation-linked and -indexed securities include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities issued by the U.S. government (see the section “U.S. Government Securities” for additional information), but also may include securities issued by state, local and non-U.S. governments and corporations and supranational entities.

A Fund’s investments in inflation-linked and –indexed securities can cause the Fund to accrue income for U.S. federal income tax purposes without a corresponding receipt of cash; the Fund may be required to dispose of portfolio securities (including when not otherwise advantageous to do so) in order to obtain sufficient cash to meet its distribution requirements for eligibility to be treated as a RIC under the Code.

Initial Public Offerings (“IPO”)

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

Investment Companies

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

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

Exchange-Traded Funds.

Some of the Funds may invest in shares of ETFs. An ETF is an investment company that is generally registered under the 1940 Act that holds a portfolio of securities designed to track the performance of a particular index and may be actively managed. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of an ETF may be purchased or redeemed directly from the ETF solely by Authorized Participants (“APs”) and only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (typically 25,000 or more) called “creation units.” Shares representing fractional interests in these creation units are listed for trading on national securities exchanges and can be purchased and sold in the secondary market in lots of any size at any time during the trading day. The Funds will typically buy and redeem shares of ETFs on the secondary market. ETFs sometimes also refer to entities that are not registered under the 1940 Act that invest directly in commodities or other

 

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assets (e.g., gold bullion). Investments in ETFs involve certain inherent risks generally associated with investments in a broadly-based portfolio of securities, including risks that the general level of stock prices may decline, thereby adversely affecting the value of each unit of the ETF or other instrument. In addition, an ETF may not fully replicate the performance of its benchmark index because of the temporary unavailability of certain index securities in the secondary market or discrepancies between the ETF and the index with respect to the weighting of securities or number of stocks held. ETFs are also subject to additional risks, including, among others, the risk that the market price of an ETF’s shares may trade above or below its NAV, the risk that an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained, the risk that trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted, and the risk that the ETF’s shares may be delisted from the listing exchange. ETFs may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as APs and to the extent that those APs exit the business, or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders for creation units and no other AP steps forward to create and redeem ETF shares, the ETF’s shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts or delisting.

Limitations on Investments in Other Investment Companies.

Investments in other investment companies, including ETFs, are typically subject to limitations prescribed by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act limitations currently provide, in part, that, unless an exception applies, a Fund may not purchase shares of an investment company if such a purchase would cause the Fund (a) to own in the aggregate more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the investment company; (b) to have more than 5% of its total assets invested in the aggregate in the investment company; or (c) to have more than 10% of its total assets invested in the aggregate in all investment companies. Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act, which became effective on January 19, 2021, permits the Funds to invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits, subject to certain conditions, including that the Funds must enter into investment agreements with other investment companies in certain circumstances. These restrictions could affect a Fund’s ability to redeem its investments in other investment companies, make such investments less attractive, cause the Fund to incur losses, realize taxable gains distributable to shareholders, incur greater or unexpected expenses, or experience other adverse consequences.

LIBOR Replacement and Other Reference Rates Risk

The Funds’ payment obligations, financing terms and investments in debt securities and derivatives may be tied to floating rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). LIBOR is the offered rate for short-term Eurodollar deposits between major international banks. ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”), the administrator of LIBOR, ceased publication of most LIBOR settings on a representative basis at the end of 2021 and is expected to cease publication of the remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR settings on a representative basis after June 30, 2023. In addition, global regulators have announced that, with limited exceptions, no new LIBOR-based contracts should be entered into after 2021. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR) however, the process for amending the interest rate provisions of existing contracts to transition away from LIBOR remains unclear. While some contracts may include “fallback” provisions that provide for an alternative rate setting methodology in the event of the unavailability of LIBOR, not all contracts have such provisions or such provisions may not contemplate the permanent unavailability of LIBOR. Federal and state legislation has been enacted to assist with the transition away from LIBOR to new reference rates for instruments known as “tough legacy” contracts. In addition, various financial industry groups have been planning more generally for the transition away from LIBOR (as well as other interbank offered rates such as the Euro Overnight Index Average, which ceased publication in January 2022). However, markets are developing slowly and questions around liquidity in these new rates and how to appropriately adjust them to mitigate any economic value transfer at the time of transition remain a concern. It is difficult to predict the full impact on the Funds of the transition away from LIBOR and other interbank offered rates. The transition process may involve, among other things, increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments that currently rely on LIBOR. The transition may also result in a reduction in the value of certain LIBOR-based investments held by the Funds or reduce the effectiveness of related transactions such as hedges. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, could adversely impact the performance of the Funds.

 

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Market Capitalizations

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

Small Capitalization Companies

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

Master Limited Partnerships

Certain Funds may invest in MLPs, which are limited partnerships the ownership units of which are publicly traded. MLPs may be treated as qualified publicly traded partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as described in the section “Taxes” herein. MLPs often own or own interests in properties or businesses that are related to oil and gas industries, including pipelines, although MLPs may invest in other types of investments, including credit-related investments. The energy industries can be significantly affected by fluctuations in energy prices and supply and demand of energy fuels, energy conservation, exploration and production spending, the success of exploration projects, tax and other government regulations, weather or meteorological events, world events and economic conditions. The energy industries also may be affected by fluctuations in energy prices, energy conservation, exploration and production spending, government regulations, weather, world events and economic conditions. Generally, an MLP is operated under the supervision of one or more managing general partners. Limited partners (like a Fund when it invests in an MLP) are not involved in the day-to-day management of the partnership. Certain Funds also may invest in companies that serve (or the affiliates of which serve) as the general partner of an MLP.

Investments in MLPs are generally subject to many of the risks that apply to partnerships. For example, holders of the units of MLPs will generally have limited control and limited voting rights on matters affecting the partnership. There may be fewer corporate protections afforded to investors in an MLP than investors in a corporation. Conflicts of interest may exist among unit holders, subordinated unit holders and the general partner of an MLP, including those arising from incentive distribution payments. The general partner of an MLP may have limited call rights that may require the Fund to sell its units of such MLP at a time or price that is not advantageous, which may lower the Fund’s return or result in a loss. A Fund may also be required to repay to an MLP distributions that are incorrectly distributed to the Fund, and in certain circumstances holders of MLP units may be responsible for the obligations of the MLP. In addition, should an MLP fail to meet the current legal requirements for treatment as a partnership, or if there are changes to the tax law, an MLP could be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In that case, the MLP would be obligated to pay tax at the entity level, and distributions to the Fund would be taxed as ordinary dividend income. This could result in a significant reduction in the income to the Fund from an investment in an MLP. MLPs that concentrate in a particular industry or region are subject to risks associated with such industry or region. MLPs holding credit-related investments are subject to interest rate risk and the risk of default on payment obligations by debt issuers. Investments held by MLPs may be illiquid and are subject to equity risk. MLP units may trade infrequently and in limited volume, and they may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than securities of larger or more broadly based companies.

Certain Funds’ investments in MLPs can bear on or be limited by a Fund’s intention to qualify as a RIC.

Certain Funds may also hold investments in limited liability companies that have many of the same characteristics and are subject to many of the same risks as MLPs.

 

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Money Market Instruments

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

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

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

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

Considerations of liquidity, safety and preservation of capital may preclude a Fund from investing in money market instruments paying the highest available yield at a particular time. In addition, a Fund’s ability to trade money market securities may be constrained by the collateral requirements related to the Fund’s other investments. As a result, a Fund may need to buy or sell money market instruments at inopportune times. In addition, even though money market instruments generally are considered to be high-quality and a low-risk investment, recently a number of issuers of money market and money market-type instruments have experienced financial difficulties, leading in some cases to rating downgrades and decreases in the value of their securities. In addition, during the 2008 global financial downturn and the market volatility caused by the COVID-19 outbreak beginning in March 2020, many money market instruments that were thought to be highly liquid became illiquid and lost value. The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, as well as certain foreign governments and central banks, have taken extraordinary actions with respect to the financial markets generally and money market instruments in particular. While these actions have stabilized the markets for these instruments, there can be no assurances that those actions will continue or continue to be effective. If a Fund’s money market instruments become illiquid, the Fund may be unable to satisfy certain of its obligations or may only be able to do so by selling other securities at prices or times that may be disadvantageous to do so.

Mortgage-Related Securities

Some Funds may invest in mortgage-related securities, such as Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) or Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) certificates, which differ from traditional debt securities. Among the major differences are that interest and principal payments are made more frequently, usually

 

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monthly, and that principal may be prepaid at any time because the underlying mortgage loans generally may be prepaid at any time. As a result, if a Fund purchases these assets at a premium, a faster-than-expected prepayment rate will tend to reduce yield to maturity, and a slower-than-expected prepayment rate may have the opposite effect of increasing yield to maturity. If a Fund purchases mortgage-related securities at a discount, faster-than-expected prepayments will tend to increase, and slower-than-expected prepayments will tend to reduce, yield to maturity. Prepayments, and resulting amounts available for reinvestment by a Fund, are likely to be greater during a period of declining interest rates and, as a result, are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates. Accelerated prepayments on securities purchased at a premium may result in a loss of principal if the premium has not been fully amortized at the time of prepayment. Although these securities will decrease in value as a result of increases in interest rates generally, they are likely to appreciate less than other fixed-income securities when interest rates decline because of the risk of prepayments. In addition, an increase in interest rates would increase the inherent volatility of a Fund by increasing the average life of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

The value of some mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities in which a Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates, and the ability of a Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend in part upon the ability of a Fund’s adviser or subadviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These types of securities may also decline for reasons associated with the underlying collateral. The risk of non-payment is greater for mortgage-related securities that are backed by mortgage pools that contain “subprime” or “Alt-A” loans (loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories, less documentation or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans), but a level of risk exists for all loans. Market factors adversely affecting mortgage loan repayments may include a general economic downturn, high unemployment, a general slowdown in the real estate market, a drop in the market prices of real estate, or an increase in interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments by holders of adjustable-rate mortgages. For example, ongoing developments in the residential and commercial mortgage markets may have additional consequences for the market for mortgage-backed securities. During periods of deteriorating economic conditions, such as recessions or periods of rising unemployment, delinquencies and losses generally increase, sometimes drastically, with respect to securitizations involving mortgage loans. The effects of the COVID-19 virus and governmental responses to the effects of the virus, as well as effects of and responses to other pandemics and epidemics, may result in increased delinquencies and losses and may have other, potentially unanticipated, adverse effects on such investments and the markets for those investments.

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

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

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

Municipal Obligations

Some Funds may purchase municipal obligations. The term “municipal obligations” generally is understood to include debt obligations issued by municipalities to obtain funds for various public purposes, the income from which is, in the

 

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opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, if the proceeds from private activity bonds are used for the construction, repair or improvement of privately operated industrial or commercial facilities, the interest paid on such bonds may be excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, although current federal tax laws place substantial limitations on the size of these issues. A Fund’s distributions of any interest it earns on municipal obligations will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income.

The two principal classifications of municipal obligations are “general obligation” and “revenue” bonds. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its faith, credit, and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue bonds are payable from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source, but not from the general taxing power. Private activity bonds are revenue bonds that are issued by municipalities and other public authorities to finance development of industrial or other facilities for use by private enterprise. The private enterprise (and/or any guarantor) pays the principal and interest on the bond; the user does not pledge its faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. The credit and quality of private activity bonds are usually tied to the credit of the corporate user of the facilities. Sizable investments in these obligations could involve an increased risk to the Funds should any of the related facilities experience financial difficulties. Private activity bonds are in most cases revenue bonds and do not generally carry the pledge of the credit of the issuing municipality. There are, of course, variations in the security of municipal obligations, both within a particular classification and between classifications.

Municipal securities include debt obligations issued by governmental entities to obtain funds for various public purposes, such as the construction of a wide range of public facilities, the refunding of outstanding obligations, the payment of general operating expenses, and the extension of loans to other public institutions and facilities. Other types of municipal securities include short-term general obligation notes, tax anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, project notes, tax-exempt commercial paper, construction loan notes and other forms of short-term tax-exempt loans. Such instruments are issued with a short-term maturity in anticipation of the receipt of tax funds, the proceeds of bond placements or other revenues. An issuer’s obligations under its municipal securities are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency, and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the federal bankruptcy code, and laws, if any, which may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest, or both, or imposing other constraints upon the enforcement of such obligations or upon the ability of municipalities to levy taxes. The power or ability of an issuer to meet its obligations for the payment of interest on and principal of its municipal securities may be materially adversely affected by litigation or other conditions.

Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes, or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, especially those relating to education, health care, transportation and utilities, conditions in those sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal issuer can affect the overall municipal market.

Municipal bonds, which generally have maturities of more than one year when issued, are designed to meet longer-term capital needs. Some longer-term municipal bonds allow an investor to “put” or sell the security at a specified time and price to the issuer or other “put provider.” If a put provider fails to honor its commitment to purchase the security, the Fund may have to treat the security’s final maturity as its effective maturity, potentially increasing the volatility of the Fund.

Municipal leases frequently carry risks distinct from those associated with general obligation or revenue bonds. State constitutions and statutes set requirements that states and municipalities must meet to incur debt. These may include voter referenda, interest rate limits or public sale requirements. Many leases and contracts include nonappropriation clauses, which provide that the governmental issuer has no obligation to make future payments under the lease or contract unless money is appropriated for such purposes by the appropriate legislative body on a yearly or other periodic basis. There have been challenges to the legality of lease financing in numerous states, and, from time to time, certain municipalities have considered not appropriating money for lease payments. Municipal lease obligations also may be subject to abatement risk. For example, construction delays or destruction of a facility as a result of an uninsurable disaster that prevents occupancy could result in all or a portion of a lease payment not being made.

 

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A Fund that invests in the municipal bond market is subject to certain risks. The amount of public information available about the municipal bonds is generally less than that for corporate equities or bonds, and the investment performance of the Fund may therefore be more dependent on the analytical abilities of its adviser or subadviser. Recent events have demonstrated that the lack of disclosure rules in this area can make it difficult for investors to obtain reliable information on the obligations underlying municipal bonds. The secondary market for municipal bonds, particularly the lower-rated bonds, also tends to be less well developed or liquid than many other securities markets, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to sell its bonds at attractive prices. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for municipal bonds may have an adverse impact on the market price of such bonds and on the Fund’s ability to sell such bonds in response to changes or anticipated changes in economic conditions or to meet the Fund’s cash needs. Reduced liquidity may also make it more difficult to obtain market quotations based on actual trades for purposes of valuing the Fund’s portfolio. The ability of municipal issuers to make timely payments of interest and principal may be diminished during general economic downturns and as governmental cost burdens are reallocated among federal, state and local governments. Local and national market forces–such as declines in real estate prices and general business activity–may result in decreasing tax bases, fluctuations in interest rates, and increasing construction costs, all of which could reduce the ability of certain issuers of municipal bonds to repay their obligations. Certain issuers of municipal bonds have also been unable to obtain additional financing through, or must pay higher interest rates on, new issues, which may reduce revenues available for issuers of municipal bonds to pay existing obligations. The recent economic downturn and budgetary constraints have made municipal bonds more susceptible to downgrade, default and bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy of such an issuer, the Fund could experience delays in collecting principal and interest and the Fund may not, in all circumstances, be able to collect all principal and interest to which it is entitled. In addition, difficulties in the municipal bond markets could result in increased liquidity risk, volatility risk and credit/counterparty risk, and a decrease in the number of municipal bond investment opportunities. The perceived increased likelihood of default among issuers of municipal bonds has resulted in reduced liquidity, increased price volatility and credit downgrades of issuers of municipal bonds. Adverse developments in the municipal bond market may negatively affect the value of all or a substantial portion of a fund’s holdings in municipal bonds.

The value of municipal bonds may also be affected by uncertainties involving the taxation of municipal bonds or the rights of municipal bond holders in the event of a bankruptcy. Proposals to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on municipal bonds are introduced before Congress from time to time. In addition, laws enacted in the future by Congress or state legislatures or referenda could extend the time for payment of principal and/or interest, or impose other constraints on enforcement of such obligations, or on the ability of municipal issuers to levy taxes. These legal uncertainties could affect the municipal bond market as a whole, certain specific sectors of the market, or the credit rating of particular securities.

National Security / Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) Regulation Risk

Certain investments by a Fund that involve a business connected with or related to national security (including, without limitation, critical technology, critical infrastructure, or sensitive data) may be subject to review and approval by CFIUS and/or non-U.S. national security/investment clearance regulators. In the event that CFIUS or another regulator reviews one or more of a Fund’s proposed or existing investments, it is possible that CFIUS or another regulator will seek to impose limitations on or prohibit one or more of the Fund’s investments or unwind a transaction. Such limitations or restrictions may prevent a Fund from pursuing certain investments, cause delays with respect to consummating such investments, or require the Fund to consummate an investment on terms that are less advantageous than would be the case absent such restrictions. Where a Fund is required to unwind a transaction, in addition to incurring additional legal, administrative, and other costs, the Fund may have to dispose of the investment at a price that is less than it would have received had the Fund exited at a different time or under different circumstances. Any of these outcomes could adversely affect a Fund’s performance.

Pay-in-Kind Securities

Some Funds may invest in pay-in-kind securities which are securities that pay dividends or interest in the form of additional securities of the issuer, rather than in cash. These securities are usually issued and traded at a discount from their face amounts. The amount of the discount varies depending on various factors, such as the time remaining until maturity of the securities, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The market prices of pay-in-kind securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities that

 

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pay interest periodically and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than are other types of securities having similar maturities and credit quality. A Fund would be required to distribute the income on these instruments as it accrues, even though the Fund would not receive the income on a current basis or in cash. Thus, such Fund may have to sell other investments, including when it may not be advisable to do so, to make income distributions to its shareholders.

Preferred Stock

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

Private Placements

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

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

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

Privatizations

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

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Some Funds may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in either real estate or real estate-related loans. REITs involve certain unique risks in addition to those risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general (such as possible declines in the value of real estate, lack of availability of mortgage funds or extended vacancies of property). Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying

 

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property owned by the REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended and changes in interest rates. REITs, whose underlying assets are concentrated in properties used by a particular industry, such as health care, are also subject to risks associated with such industry. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified, and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, risks of default by borrowers, and self-liquidation. REITs are also subject to the possibilities of failing to qualify for favorable tax treatment available to REITs under the Code, and failing to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act.

REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks, including prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. If the REIT invests in adjustable rate mortgage loans the interest rates on which are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates. This causes the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed rate obligations. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than more widely held securities.

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

Real Estate Securities

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

Regulation S Securities

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

Repurchase Agreements

A Fund may enter into repurchase agreements, by which the Fund purchases a security and obtains a simultaneous commitment from the seller (a bank or, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, a recognized securities dealer) to repurchase the security at an agreed-upon price and date (usually seven days or less from the date of original purchase). The resale price is in excess of the purchase price and reflects an agreed-upon market interest rate unrelated to the coupon rate on the purchased security. Repurchase agreements are economically similar to collateralized loans by a Fund. Such transactions afford a Fund the opportunity to earn a return on temporarily available cash at relatively low market/issuer risk. The Funds do not have percentage limitations on how much of their total assets may be invested in repurchase agreements. The Funds typically may also use repurchase agreements for cash management and temporary defensive purposes. A Fund may invest in a repurchase agreement that does not produce a positive return

 

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to the Fund if the adviser or subadviser believes it is appropriate to do so under the circumstances (for example, to help protect the Fund’s uninvested cash against the risk of loss during periods of market turmoil). While the underlying security may be a bill, certificate of indebtedness, note or bond issued by an agency, authority or instrumentality of the U.S. government, the obligation of the seller is not guaranteed by the U.S. government and there is a risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the underlying security. In such event, a Fund would attempt to exercise rights with respect to the underlying security, including possible disposition in the market. However, a Fund may be subject to various delays and risks of loss, including (i) possible declines in the value of the underlying security during the period while the Fund seeks to enforce its rights thereto, (ii) possible reduced levels of income and lack of access to income during this period and (iii) inability to enforce rights and the expenses involved in the attempted enforcement, for example, against a counterparty undergoing financial distress. See also the “Credit/Counterparty Risk” and “Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives” sections.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Other Borrowings

Some Funds may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. In a reverse repurchase agreement a Fund transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another person, such as a financial institution, broker or dealer, in return for cash, and agrees that on a stipulated date in the future the Fund will repurchase the portfolio instrument by remitting the original consideration plus interest at an agreed-upon rate. The ability to use reverse repurchase agreements may enable, but does not ensure the ability of, a Fund to avoid selling portfolio instruments at a time when a sale may be deemed to be disadvantageous. Pursuant to Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, a Fund has the option to treat all reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as “derivatives transactions,” or to include all such transactions in the Fund’s asset coverage ratio for borrowings.

Dollar Rolls

Dollar rolls are a special type of reverse repurchase agreement in which the portfolio instrument transferred by a Fund is a mortgage-related security. A Fund gives up the cash flows during the transaction period but has use of the cash proceeds.

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

Some Funds may invest in Rule 144A securities and/or Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper. Rule 144A securities are privately offered securities that can be resold only to certain qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act. A Fund may also purchase commercial paper issued under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act or similar debt obligations. Commercial paper is generally considered to be short-term unsecured debt of corporations. Investing in Rule 144A securities and Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper could have the effect of increasing the level of a Fund’s illiquidity to the extent that qualified institutional buyers become, for a time, uninterested in purchasing these securities. A Fund’s adviser, in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program, will determine whether securities purchased under Rule 144A and/or Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper are illiquid. A Fund’s adviser will also monitor the liquidity of Rule 144A securities and/or Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper and, if as a result of changes in market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the adviser determines that such securities are no longer liquid, the adviser will review a Fund’s holdings of illiquid securities to determine what, if any, action is required to assure that such Fund complies with its restrictions on investment in illiquid securities.

Securities Lending

The Funds may lend a portion of their portfolio securities to brokers, dealers, financial institutions or other borrowers under contracts calling for the deposit by the borrower with the Funds’ custodian of collateral equal to at least the market value of the securities loaned, marked to market on a daily basis. If a Fund lends portfolio securities, its investment performance will continue to reflect changes in the value of the securities loaned and the Fund will also receive a fee or interest on the collateral, which may include shares of a money market fund subject to any investment restrictions listed in this Statement. These fees or interest are income to each Fund, although a Fund often must share a portion of the income with the securities lending agent and/or the borrower. A Fund will continue to benefit from interest or dividends on the securities loaned (although the payment characteristics may change) and may also earn a return from the collateral, which may include shares of a money market fund subject to any investment restrictions listed in this Statement. Under some securities lending arrangements, a Fund may receive a set fee for keeping its

 

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securities available for lending. Any voting rights, or rights to consent, relating to securities loaned, pass to the borrower. However, if a material event (as determined by the adviser or subadviser) affecting the investment occurs, a Fund may seek to recall the securities so that the securities may be voted by the Fund, although the adviser or subadviser may not know of such event in time to recall the securities or may be unable to recall the securities in time to vote them. The Funds pay various fees in connection with such loans, including fees to the party arranging the loans, shipping fees and custodian and placement fees approved by the Board or persons acting pursuant to the direction of the Board.

Securities loans must be fully collateralized at all times, but involve some credit/counterparty risk to the Funds if the borrower or the party (if any) guaranteeing the loan should default on its obligation and the Funds are delayed in or prevented from recovering or applying the collateral. In addition, any investment of cash collateral is generally at the sole risk of the Funds. New regulations require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many securities lending agreements, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as the Funds, to terminate such agreements, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing securities lending agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements in the event the counterparty or its affiliate becomes subject to a resolution or insolvency proceeding. Any income or gains and losses from investing and reinvesting any cash collateral delivered by a borrower pursuant to a loan generally are at the Fund’s risk, and to the extent any such losses reduce the amount of cash below the amount required to be returned to the borrower upon the termination of any loan, the Fund may be required by the securities lending agent to pay or cause to be paid to such borrower an amount equal to such shortfall in cash, possibly requiring it to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy its obligations. The Funds did not have any securities lending activity during their most recently completed fiscal year.

Short Sales

Some Funds may enter into short sales of securities. To sell a security short, a Fund must borrow that security from a lender, such as a prime broker, and deliver it to the short sale counterparty. If a Fund is unable to borrow the security it wishes to sell short at an advantageous time or price, the Fund’s ability to pursue its short sale strategy may be adversely affected. When closing out a short position, a Fund will have to purchase the security it originally sold short. A Fund will realize a profit from closing out a short position if the price of the security sold short has declined since the short position was opened; a Fund will realize a loss from closing out a short position if the value of the shorted security has risen since the short position was opened. Because there is no upper limit on the price to which a security can rise, short selling exposes a Fund to potentially unlimited losses if it does not hold the security sold short.

While short sales can be used to further a Fund’s investment objective, under certain market conditions, they can increase the volatility of the Fund and decrease the liquidity of the Fund. Under adverse market conditions, a Fund may have difficulty purchasing the securities required to meet its short sale delivery obligations, and may have to sell portfolio securities at a disadvantageous time or price to raise the funds necessary to meet its short sale obligations. If a request to return the borrowed securities occurs at a time when other short sellers of those same securities are receiving similar requests, a “short squeeze” can occur, and a Fund may be forced to replace the borrowed securities with purchases on the open market at a disadvantageous time, potentially at a cost that significantly exceeds the original short sale proceeds originally received in selling the securities short. It is possible that the value of a Fund’s long positions will decrease at the same time that the value of its short positions increases, which could increase losses to the Fund.

Ordinarily, a Fund will incur a fee or pay a premium to borrow securities, may also be required to pay interest and other charges, and will have to repay the lender any dividends or interest that accrue on the security while the loan is outstanding. The amount of the premium, dividends, interest and other expenses a Fund pays in connection with the short sale will decrease the amount of any gain from a short sale and increase the amount of any loss.

Short sales may protect a Fund against the risk of losses in the value of its portfolio securities because any unrealized losses with respect to such portfolio securities should be wholly or partially offset by a corresponding gain in the short

 

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position. However, any potential gains in such portfolio securities should be wholly or partially offset by a corresponding loss in the short position. The extent to which such gains or losses are offset will depend on the amount of securities sold short relative to the amount a Fund owns, either directly or indirectly, and, in the case where the Fund owns convertible securities, changes in the conversion premium.

Short sale transactions involve certain risks. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time a Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss, and if the price declines during this period, the Fund will realize a short-term capital gain. Any realized short-term capital gain will be decreased, and any incurred loss increased, by the amount of transaction costs and any premium, dividend or interest which a Fund may have to pay in connection with such short sale. The prime broker(s) through which the Fund enters into short sale transactions has broad discretion to establish margin requirements for a Fund’s short positions, and may change such margin requirements at any time. Certain provisions of the Code may limit the degree to which a Fund is able to enter into short sales. There is no limitation on the amount of each Fund’s assets that, in the aggregate, may be deposited as collateral for the obligation to replace securities borrowed to effect short sales and allocated to segregated accounts in connection with short sales. A Fund is subject to credit/counterparty risk in connection with short sale transactions entered into through a prime broker. To the extent that a Fund uses a single prime broker, this risk will be magnified. If a Fund’s prime broker becomes insolvent or otherwise fails to perform its obligations, a Fund may not be able to recover amounts owed to it in connection with its short positions, or may experience a significant delay and/or incur significant costs in recovering such amounts.

Short-Term Trading

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

Step-Coupon Securities

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

“Stripped” Securities

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

Synthetic Securities

Strategic Alpha Fund. The Fund may invest in synthetic securities. Incidental to other transactions in fixed-income securities and/or for investment purposes, the Fund also may combine options on securities with cash, cash equivalent investments or other fixed-income securities in order to create “synthetic” securities which approximate desired risk and return profiles. This may be done where a “non-synthetic” security having the desired risk/return profile either is

 

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unavailable (e.g., short-term securities of certain non-U.S. governments) or possesses undesirable characteristics (e.g., interest payments on the security would be subject to non-U.S. withholding taxes). The Fund also may purchase forward non-U.S. exchange contracts in conjunction with U.S. dollar-denominated securities in order to create a synthetic non-U.S. currency denominated security which approximates desired risk and return characteristics where the non-synthetic securities either are not available in non-U.S. markets or possess undesirable characteristics. The use of synthetic bonds and other synthetic securities may involve risks different from, or potentially greater than, risks associated with direct investments in securities and other assets. Synthetic securities may increase other Fund risks, including market risk, liquidity risk, and credit/counterparty risk, and their value may or may not correlate with the value of the relevant underlying asset.

Tax-Exempt Securities

Some Funds may invest in tax-exempt securities (“Tax-Exempt Securities”), which are debt securities the interest from which is, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by a Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable), exempt from U.S. federal income tax. Tax-Exempt Securities include debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States and their political subdivisions (for example, counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts) and authorities 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 and water and sewer works. Other public purposes for which certain Tax-Exempt Securities may be issued include the refunding of outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for federal operating expenses or obtaining funds to lend to public or private institutions for the construction of facilities such as educational, hospital and housing facilities. In addition, certain types of private activity bonds have been or may be issued by public authorities or on behalf of state or local governmental units to finance privately operated housing facilities, sports facilities, convention or trade facilities, air or water pollution control facilities and certain local facilities for water supply, gas, electricity or sewage or solid waste disposal. Such obligations are included within the term “Tax-Exempt Securities” if the interest paid thereon is, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by a Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable), exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. The Fund does not expect to qualify to pass through to shareholders the tax-exempt character of interest paid on Tax-Exempt Securities.

Funds that invest in certain tax-exempt bonds or certain private activity bonds may not be a desirable investment for “substantial users” of facilities financed by such obligations or bonds or for “related persons” of substantial users. You should contact your financial adviser or attorney for more information if you think you may be a “substantial user” or a “related person” of a substantial user.

There are variations in the quality of Tax-Exempt Securities, both within a particular classification and between classifications, depending on numerous factors (see Appendix A).

The two principal classifications of tax-exempt bonds are general obligation bonds and limited obligation (or revenue) bonds. General obligation bonds are obligations involving the credit of an issuer possessing taxing power and are payable from the issuer’s general unrestricted revenues and not from any particular fund or source. The characteristics and method of enforcement of general obligation bonds vary according to the law applicable to the particular issuer, and payment may be dependent upon an appropriation by the issuer’s legislative body. Limited obligation bonds 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 or other specific revenue source such as the user of the facility. Tax-exempt private activity bonds are in most cases revenue bonds and generally are not payable from the unrestricted revenues of the issuer. The credit and quality of such bonds are usually directly related to the credit standing of the corporate user of the facilities. Principal and interest on such bonds are the responsibilities of the corporate user (and any guarantor).

The yields on Tax-Exempt Securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including general money market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, general conditions of the Tax-Exempt Securities market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation and the rating of the issue. Further, information about the financial condition of an issuer of tax-exempt bonds may not be as extensive as that made available by corporations whose securities are publicly traded. The ratings of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch represent their opinions as to the quality of the Tax-Exempt Securities which they undertake to rate. It should be emphasized, however, that ratings are general and are not absolute standards of quality. Consequently, Tax-Exempt Securities with the same maturity, interest rate and

 

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rating may have different yields while Tax-Exempt Securities of the same maturity and interest rate with different ratings may have the same yield. Subsequent to its purchase by a Fund, an issue of Tax-Exempt Securities or other investments may cease to be rated or the rating may be reduced below the minimum rating required for purchase by the Fund. Neither event will require the elimination of an investment from the Fund’s portfolio, but the adviser will consider such an event as part of its normal, ongoing review of all the Fund’s portfolio securities.

Tax-Exempt Securities are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the federal Bankruptcy Code, and laws, if any, which may be enacted by Congress or the state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest, or both, or imposing other constraints upon enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of issuers to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal on their Tax-Exempt Securities may be materially affected or that their obligations may be found to be invalid and unenforceable. Such litigation or conditions may from time to time have the effect of introducing uncertainties in the market for tax-exempt bonds or certain segments thereof, or materially affecting the credit risk with respect to particular bonds. Adverse economic, legal or political developments might affect all or a substantial portion of a Fund’s Tax-Exempt Securities in the same manner.

From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the U.S. federal income tax exemption for interest on debt obligations issued by states and their political subdivisions. In this regard, for bonds issued after December 31, 2017, the tax-advantaged treatment previously available to “tax credit bonds” and “advance refunding bonds” is no longer available. Further similar proposals may well be introduced in the future. If such a proposal were enacted, the availability of Tax-Exempt Securities for investment by a Fund and the value of such Fund’s portfolios could be materially affected, in which event such Fund would reevaluate its investment objectives and policies and consider changes in their structure or dissolution.

All debt securities, including tax-exempt bonds, are subject to credit and market risk. Generally, for any given change in the level of interest rates, prices for longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices for shorter maturity issues.

Trust Preferred Securities

Strategic Alpha Fund. The Fund may also purchase trust preferred securities, which have characteristics of both subordinated debt and preferred stock. Trust preferred securities are issued by a special purpose trust subsidiary backed by subordinated debt of a corporate parent. These securities generally have a final stated maturity date and a fixed schedule for periodic payments. In addition, these securities have provisions that afford preference over common and preferred stock upon liquidation, although the securities are subordinated to other, more senior debt securities of the same issuer. The issuers of these securities often have the right to defer interest payments for a period of time.

Holders of trust preferred securities have limited voting rights to control the activities of the trust, and no voting rights with respect to the parent company. The market value of trust preferred securities may be more volatile than those of conventional debt securities. Trust preferred securities may be issued in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act or otherwise subject to restrictions on resale. There can be no assurance as to the liquidity of trust preferred securities and the ability of holders, such as a Fund, to sell their holdings. If the parent company defaults on interest payments to the trust, the trust will not be able to make dividend payments to holders of its securities.

U.S. Government Securities

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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security, and therefore, these types of securities should be considered to be riskier than U.S. government securities. From time to time, uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. government to increase the statutory debt ceiling could: increase the risk that the U.S. government may default on payments on certain U.S. government securities; cause the credit rating of the U.S. government to be downgraded or increase volatility in both stock and bond markets; result in higher interest rates; reduce prices of U.S. Treasury securities; and/or increase the costs of certain kinds of debt.

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

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

Under the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s “Single Security Initiative,” FNMA and FHLMC have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (“UMBS”), which would generally align the characteristics of FNMA and FHLMC mortgage-backed securities. In June 2019 FNMA and FHLMC started to issue UMBS in place of their current offerings of TBA-eligible mortgage-backed securities. The long-term effects of the issuance of UMBS on the market for mortgage-backed securities are still uncertain.

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

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

Variable and Floating Rate Instruments

Certain Funds may purchase variable and floating rate instruments (which may include bank loans, which are discussed in the section “Bank Loans, Loan Participations and Assignments” above). These instruments may include variable amount master demand notes, which are unsecured demand notes that permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary in addition to providing for periodic adjustments in the interest rate. These instruments may also include leveraged inverse floating rate debt instruments, or “inverse floaters”. The interest rate of an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest on a security or interest to which it is related. An inverse 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, and is subject to many of the same risks as derivatives. The higher degree of leverage inherent in inverse floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values. Certain of these investments may be illiquid. The absence of an active secondary market with respect to these investments 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 the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights, and the Fund could, for these or other reasons, suffer a loss with respect to such instruments.

Many variable and floating rate instruments use or may use a floating rate based on LIBOR, which is the offered rate for short-term Eurodollar deposits between major international banks. Global efforts are underway to transition financial instruments away from LIBOR and other interbank offered rates. See “LIBOR Replacement and Other Reference Rates Risk” section for more information about this transition.

 

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When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Securities

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

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

Zero-Coupon Securities

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

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

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

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

 

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PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

A Fund’s portfolio turnover rate for a fiscal year is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the fiscal year, in each case excluding securities having maturity dates at acquisition of one year or less. High portfolio turnover involves correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and other transaction costs, which will be borne directly by each Fund, thereby decreasing each Fund’s total return. High portfolio turnover also may give rise to additional taxable income for each Fund’s shareholders, including through the realization of short-term capital gains, which are typically taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates, and therefore can result in higher taxes for shareholders that hold their shares in taxable accounts. It is impossible to predict with certainty whether future portfolio turnover rates will be higher or lower than those experienced during past periods. Each Fund anticipates that its portfolio turnover rate will vary from time to time depending on the volatility of economic and market conditions.

The rate of portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor when each Fund’s adviser or subadviser believes that portfolio changes are appropriate.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the portfolio turnover rates for the Strategic Alpha Fund were 218% and 46%, respectively.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

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

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

 

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