Statement of Additional Information
February 29, 2024

Vaughan Nelson Funds

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund
(formerly, Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund)
Investor Class (Ticker Symbol: ADVKX)
Institutional Class (Ticker Symbol: ADVMX)

Vaughan Nelson International Fund
(formerly, Vaughan Nelson International Small Cap Fund)
Investor Class (Ticker Symbol: ADVJX)
Institutional Class (Ticker Symbol: ADVLX)

Each a series of Investment Managers Series Trust

This statement of additional information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus, and it should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund and Vaughan Nelson International Fund (each, a “Fund,” and collectively, the “Funds”) dated February 29, 2024, as may be amended from time to time (the “Prospectus”). Each Fund is a series of Investment Managers Series Trust (the “Trust”). Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, L.P. (“Vaughan Nelson” or the “Advisor”) is the investment advisor to the Funds. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained by contacting the Funds at the address or telephone number specified below. The Funds’ Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, is incorporated by reference herein. Copies of the Funds’ Annual Report can be obtained by contacting the Funds at the address or telephone number specified below.

Vaughan Nelson Funds
P.O. Box 2175
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
1-888-660-6610

 

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THE TRUST AND THE FUNDS

The Trust is an open-end management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust under the laws of the State of Delaware on February 15, 2005. The Trust currently consists of a number of series of shares of beneficial interest. This SAI relates only to the Funds and not to the other series of the Trust.

The Trust is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an open-end management investment company. Such a registration does not involve supervision of the management or policies of the Funds. The Prospectus of the Funds and this SAI omit certain of the information contained in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC. Copies of such information may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the prescribed fee.

Each Fund is classified as a diversified fund, which means it is subject to the diversification requirements under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Under the 1940 Act, a diversified fund may not, with respect to 75% of its total assets, invest more than 5% of its total assets in the securities of one issuer (and in not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of an issuer), excluding cash, Government securities, and securities of other investment companies. Each Fund’s classification as a diversified fund may only be changed with the approval of the Fund’s shareholders.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS

The discussion below supplements information contained in the Funds’ Prospectus pertaining to the investment policies of the Funds.

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS

MARKET CONDITIONS

Events in certain sectors historically have resulted, and may in the future result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. These events have included, but are not limited to: bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, and other events related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2008; governmental efforts to limit short selling and high frequency trading; measures to address U.S. federal and state budget deficits; social, political, and economic instability in Europe; economic stimulus by the Japanese central bank; steep declines in oil prices; dramatic changes in currency exchange rates; China’s economic slowdown, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and more recently, higher inflation. Interconnected global economies and financial markets increase the possibility that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Such events may cause significant declines in the values and liquidity of many securities and other instruments. It is impossible to predict whether such conditions will recur. Because such situations may be widespread, it may be difficult to identify both risks and opportunities using past models of the interplay of market forces, or to predict the duration of such events.

An outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and then was detected globally. This coronavirus has resulted in certain travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer demand, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19, and other infectious illness outbreaks that may arise in the future, could adversely affect the economies of many nations or the entire global economy, individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, the impact of infectious illnesses in emerging market countries may be greater due to generally less established healthcare systems. Public health crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally. The duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects cannot be determined with certainty.

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Equity Securities

Common Stock

The Funds may invest in common stock. Common stock represents an equity (ownership) interest in a company, and usually possesses voting rights and earns dividends. Dividends on common stock are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the issuer. Common stock generally represents the riskiest investment in a company. In addition, common stock generally has the greatest appreciation and depreciation potential because increases and decreases in earnings are usually reflected in a company’s stock price.

The fundamental risk of investing in common stock is that the value of the stock might decrease. Stock values fluctuate in response to the activities of an individual company or in response to general market and/or economic conditions. While common stocks have historically provided greater long-term returns than preferred stocks, fixed-income and money market investments, common stocks have also experienced significantly more volatility than the returns from those other investments.

Preferred Stocks

The Funds may invest in preferred stock. Preferred stock is a class of stock having a preference over common stock as to the payment of dividends and a share of the proceeds resulting from the issuer’s liquidation although preferred stock is usually subordinate to the debt securities of the issuer. Some preferred stocks also entitle their holders to receive additional liquidation proceeds on the same basis as the holders of the issuer’s common stock. Preferred stock typically does not possess voting rights and its market value may change based on changes in interest rates. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of preferred stocks to decline. Preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions, as well as call/redemption provisions prior to maturity, a negative feature when interest rates decline. In addition, a fund may receive stocks or warrants as a result of an exchange or tender of fixed income securities. Preference stock, which is more common in emerging markets than in developed markets, is a special type of common stock that shares in the earnings of an issuer, has limited voting rights, may have a dividend preference, and may also have a liquidation preference. Depending on the features of the particular security, holders of preferred and preference stock may bear the risks regarding common stock or fixed income securities.

Convertible Securities

The Funds may invest in convertible securities. A convertible security is a preferred stock, warrant or other security that may be converted or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other security of the same or a different issuer or into cash within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive the dividend or interest until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both fixed income and equity securities. Although to a lesser extent than with fixed income securities generally, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, tends to increase as interest rates decline. In addition, because of the conversion feature, the market value of convertible securities tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying common stocks and, therefore, also will react to variations in the general market for equity securities. A significant feature of convertible securities is that as the market price of the underlying common stock declines, convertible securities tend to trade increasingly on a yield basis, and so they may not experience market value declines to the same extent as the underlying common stock. When the market price of the underlying common stock increases, the prices of the convertible securities tend to rise as a reflection of the value of the underlying common stock. While no securities investments are without risk, investments in convertible securities generally entail less risk than investments in common stock of the same issuer.

Foreign Investments

The Funds may make foreign investments. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers and other non-U.S. investments may involve risks in addition to those normally associated with investments in the securities of U.S. issuers or other U.S. investments. All foreign investments are subject to risks of foreign political and economic instability, adverse movements in foreign exchange rates, and the imposition or tightening of exchange controls and limitations on the repatriation of foreign capital. Other risks stem from potential changes in governmental attitude or policy toward private investment, which in turn raises the risk of nationalization, increased taxation or confiscation of foreign investors’ assets. Additionally, the imposition of sanctions, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States and/or other governments may adversely affect the values of a Fund’s foreign investments.

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The financial problems in global economies over the past several years, including the European sovereign debt crisis, may continue to cause high volatility in global financial markets. In addition, global economies are increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact a different country or region. The severity or duration of these conditions may also be affected if one or more countries leave the Euro currency, or by other policy changes made by governments or quasi-governmental organizations.

Additional non-U.S. taxes and expenses may also adversely affect a Fund’s performance, including foreign withholding taxes on foreign securities’ dividends. Brokerage commissions and other transaction costs on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than in the United States. Foreign companies may be subject to different accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards. To the extent foreign securities held by a Fund are not registered with the SEC or with any other U.S. regulator, the issuers thereof will not be subject to the reporting requirements of the SEC or any other U.S. regulator. Accordingly, less information may be available about foreign companies and other investments than is generally available on issuers of comparable securities and other investments in the United States. Foreign securities and other investments may also trade less frequently and with lower volume and may exhibit greater price volatility than U.S. securities and other investments.

Changes in foreign exchange rates will affect the value in U.S. dollars of any foreign currency-denominated securities and other investments held by a Fund. Exchange rates are influenced generally by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign currency markets and by numerous other political and economic events occurring outside the United States, many of which may be difficult, if not impossible, to predict.

Income from any foreign securities and other investments will be received and realized in foreign currencies, and the Funds are required to compute and distribute income in U.S. dollars. Accordingly, a decline in the value of a particular foreign currency against the U.S. dollar occurring after a Fund’s income has been earned and computed in U.S. dollars may require a Fund to liquidate portfolio securities or other investments to acquire sufficient U.S. dollars to make a distribution. Similarly, if the exchange rate declines between the time a Fund incurs expenses in U.S. dollars and the time such expenses are paid, the Fund may be required to liquidate additional portfolio securities or other investments to purchase the U.S. dollars required to meet such expenses.

The Fund may purchase foreign bank obligations. In addition to the risks described above that are generally applicable to foreign investments, the investments that a Fund makes in obligations of foreign banks, branches or subsidiaries may involve further risks, including differences between foreign banks and U.S. banks in applicable accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, and the possible establishment of exchange controls or other foreign government laws or restrictions applicable to the payment of certificates of deposit or time deposits that may affect adversely the payment of principal and interest on the securities and other investments held by the Fund.

Emerging Markets.    The Funds may invest in companies organized or doing substantial business in emerging market countries or developing countries as defined by the World Bank, International Financial Corporation, or the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) emerging market indices or other comparable indices. Investing in emerging markets involves additional risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or markets. Such risks may include (i) increased risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (ii) greater social, economic and political uncertainty, including war; (iii) higher dependence on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (iv) greater volatility, less liquidity and smaller capitalization of markets; (v) greater volatility in currency exchange rates; (vi) greater risk of inflation; (vii) greater controls on foreign investment and limitations on realization of investments, repatriation of invested capital and on the ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (viii) increased likelihood of governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (ix) governmental decisions to cease support of economic reform programs or to impose centrally planned economies; (x) differences in regulatory, accounting, auditing, and financial reporting and recordkeeping standards, which may result in the unavailability of material information about issuers; (xi) less extensive regulation of the markets; (xii) longer settlement periods for transactions and less reliable clearance and custody arrangements; (xiii) less developed corporate laws regarding fiduciary duties of officers and directors and the protection of investors; (xiv) certain considerations regarding the maintenance of a Fund’s securities with local brokers and securities depositories and (xv) the imposition of withholding or other taxes on dividends, interest, capital gains, other income or gross sale or disposition proceeds.

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Repatriation of investment income, assets and the proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval in some emerging market countries. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for such repatriation, or by withholding taxes imposed by emerging market countries on interest or dividends paid on securities held by the Fund or gains from the disposition of such securities.

In emerging markets, there is often less government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, stock exchanges, over-the-counter markets, brokers, dealers, counterparties and issuers than in other more established markets. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), which regulates auditors of U.S. public companies, for example, may be unable to inspect audit work and practices in certain countries. if the PCAOB is unable to oversee the operations of accounting firms in such countries that inaccurate or incomplete financial records of an issuer’s operations may not be detected, which could negatively impact a Fund’s investments in such companies. Any regulatory supervision that is in place may be subject to manipulation or control. Some emerging market countries do not have mature legal systems comparable to those of more developed countries. Moreover, the process of legal and regulatory reform may not be proceeding at the same pace as market developments, which could result in investment risk. Legislation to safeguard the rights of private ownership may not yet be in place in certain areas, and there may be the risk of conflict among local, regional and national requirements. In certain cases, the laws and regulations governing investments in securities may not exist or may be subject to inconsistent or arbitrary appreciation or interpretation. Both the independence of judicial systems and their immunity from economic, political or nationalistic influences remain largely untested in many countries. It may also be difficult or impossible for a Fund to pursue legal remedies or to obtain and enforce judgments in local courts.

Many Chinese companies have created variable interest entities (“VIEs”) as a means to circumvent limits on foreign ownership of equity in Chinese companies. Investments in companies that use a VIE structure may pose additional risks because the investment is made through an intermediary entity that exerts control of the underlying operating business through contractual means rather than equity ownership and, as a result, may limit the rights of an investor. Although VIEs are a longstanding industry practice and well known to officials and regulators in China, VIE structures are not formally recognized under Chinese law. Investors face uncertainty about future actions by the government of China that could significantly affect an operating company’s financial performance and the enforceability of the VIE’s contractual arrangements. It is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the VIE structure, or whether any new laws, rules, or regulations relating to VIE structures will be adopted or, if adopted, what impact they would have on the interests of foreign shareholders. Under extreme circumstances, China might prohibit the existence of VIEs, or sever their ability to transmit economic and governance rights to foreign individuals and entities; if so, the market value of the Funds’ associated portfolio holdings would likely suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent effects, which could result in substantial investment losses.

There may also be restrictions on imports from certain countries, such as Russia, and dealings with certain state-sponsored entities. For example, following Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order in February 2022 prohibiting U.S. persons from entering transactions with the Central Bank of Russia and Executive Orders in March 2022 prohibiting U.S. persons from importing oil and gas from Russia as well as other popular Russian exports, such as diamonds, seafood and vodka. There may also be restrictions on investments in Chinese companies. For example, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order in June 2021 affirming and expanding the U.S. policy prohibiting U.S. persons from purchasing or investing in publicly-traded securities of companies identified by the U.S. Government as “Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies.” The list of such companies can change from time to time, and as a result of forced selling or an inability to participate in an investment the Advisor otherwise believes is attractive, the Fund may incur losses. Any of these factors may adversely affect a Fund’s performance or the Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective.

Europe — Recent Events.    A number of countries in Europe have experienced severe economic and financial difficulties. Many non-governmental issuers, and even certain governments, have defaulted on, or been forced to restructure, their debts; many other issuers have faced difficulties obtaining credit or refinancing existing obligations; financial institutions have in many cases required government or central bank support, have needed to raise capital, and/or have been impaired in their ability to extend credit; and financial markets in Europe and elsewhere have experienced extreme volatility and declines in asset values and liquidity. These difficulties may continue, worsen or spread within or outside Europe. Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures

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and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world.

The European Union (the “EU”) currently faces major issues involving its membership, structure, procedures and policies, including the successful political, economic and social integration of new member states, the EU’s resettlement and distribution of refugees, and resolution of the EU’s problematic fiscal and democratic accountability. In addition, one or more countries may abandon the Euro, the common currency of the EU, and/or withdraw from the EU. The impact of these actions, especially if they occur in a disorderly fashion, is not clear but could be significant and far-reaching.

United Kingdom Exit from the EU.    On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) formally withdrew from the EU (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) and, after a transition period, left the EU single market and customs union under the terms of a new trade agreement, effective January 1, 2021. The agreement governs the relationship between the UK and EU with respect to trading goods and services, but certain aspects of the relationship remain unresolved and subject to further negotiation and agreement. The effects of Brexit are also being shaped by the trade agreements that the UK negotiates with other countries. Although the longer term political, regulatory, and economic consequences of Brexit are uncertain, Brexit has caused volatility in UK, EU, and global markets. The potential negative effects of Brexit on the UK and EU economies and the broader global economy could include, among others, business and trade disruptions, increased volatility and illiquidity, currency fluctuations, and potentially lower economic growth of markets in the UK, EU, and globally, which could negatively impact the value of the Fund’s investments. Brexit could also lead to legal uncertainty and politically divergent national laws and regulations while the relationship between the UK and EU continues to be defined and the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate.

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine.    Russia has attempted to assert its influence in Eastern Europe in the recent past through economic and military measures, including military incursions into Georgia in 2008 and eastern Ukraine in 2014, heightening geopolitical risk in the region and tensions with the West. On February 24, 2022, Russia initiated a large-scale invasion of Ukraine resulting in the displacement of millions of Ukrainians from their homes, a substantial loss of life, and the widespread destruction of property and infrastructure throughout Ukraine. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the governments of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and many other nations joined together to impose heavy economic sanctions on certain Russian individuals, including its political leaders, as well as Russian corporate and banking entities and other Russian industries and businesses. The sanctions restrict companies from doing business with Russia and Russian companies, prohibit transactions with the Russian central bank and other key Russian financial institutions and entities, ban Russian airlines and ships from using many other countries’ airspace and ports, respectively, and place a freeze on certain Russian assets. The sanctions also removed some Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), the electronic network that connects banks globally to facilitate cross-border payments. In addition, the United States has banned oil and other energy imports from Russia, and the United Kingdom made a commitment to phase out oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and their global allies may impose additional sanctions or other intergovernmental actions against Russia in the future, but Russia may respond in kind by imposing retaliatory economic sanctions or countermeasures. The extent and duration of the war in Ukraine and the longevity and severity of sanctions remain unknown, but they could have a significant adverse impact on the European economy as well as the price and availability of certain commodities, including oil and natural gas, throughout the world. Further, an escalation of the military conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders could result in significant, long-lasting damage to the economies of Eastern and Western Europe as well as the global economy.

General.    Whether or not the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in Europe or with significant exposure to European issuers or countries, these events could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments due to the interconnected nature of the global economy and capital markets. The Fund may also be susceptible to these events to the extent that the Fund invests in municipal obligations with credit support by non-U.S. financial institutions.

Developments in the China Region.    After nearly 30 years of unprecedented growth, the People’s Republic of China now faces a slowing economy. The real estate market, which many observers believed to be inflated, has begun to decline. Local governments, which had borrowed heavily to bolster growth, face high debt burdens and limited revenue sources. As a result, demand for Chinese exports by the United States and countries in Europe, and demands for Chinese imports from such countries, may weaken due to the effects of more limited economic growth. Additionally, Chinese actions

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to lay claim to disputed islands have caused relations with China’s regional trading partners to suffer, and could cause further disruption to regional and international trade. From time to time, China has experienced outbreaks of infectious illnesses, and the country may be subject to other public health threats, infectious illnesses, diseases or similar issues in the future. Any spread of an infectious illness, public health threat or similar issue could reduce consumer demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and generally have a significant impact on the Chinese economy. In the long run, China’s ability to develop and sustain a credible legal, regulatory, monetary, and socioeconomic system could influence the course of outside investment.

Investments in Japan.    Although Japan continues to recover from a prolonged economic downturn dating back to 2000, Japan’s economic growth rate has remained relatively low and it may remain low in the future and/or continue to lag the growth rates of other developed nations and its Asian neighbors. Economic growth in Japan is heavily dependent on international trade, government support of the financial services sector and other troubled sectors, and consistent government policy supporting its export market. In the past, Japanese exports have been adversely affected by trade tariffs and other protectionist measures as well as increased competition from developing nations. Japan has few natural resources and is heavily dependent on oil imports. Higher commodity prices could therefore have a negative impact on the Japanese economy. Slowdowns in the economies of key trading partners such as the United States, China, and/or countries in Southeast Asia, including economic, political, or social instability in such countries, could also have a negative impact on the Japanese economy as a whole. Despite the emergence of China as an important trading partner of Japan, strained relationships between Japan and its neighboring countries, including China, Russia, South Korea and North Korea, may also inject uncertainty into Japanese markets. Increased political tension between countries in the region could adversely affect the Japanese economy and, in the event of a crisis, destabilize the region. The Japanese economy is also vulnerable to concerns of economic slowdown from within the Japanese financial system, including high levels of nonperforming loans, over-leveraged corporate balance sheets, extensive cross-ownership by major corporations, a changing corporate governance structure, and large government deficits.

Japanese currency fluctuations may also adversely impact the Japanese economy and its export market. In the past, the Japanese government has intervened in its currency market to maintain or reduce the value of the yen. Any such intervention in the currency markets could cause the value of the yen to fluctuate sharply and unpredictably and could cause losses to investors. Japan’s labor market, affected by the aging and shrinking population, appears to be undergoing fundamental structural changes. The changing population has increased the cost of Japan’s pension and public welfare system. Japan’s labor market, which traditionally preferred lifetime employment, also has sought to adjust to meet the need for increased labor mobility. Issues in Japan’s labor market may, among other consequences, adversely affect Japan’s economic competitiveness.

Japan has experienced natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and tsunamis, of varying degrees of severity. The risks of such phenomena, and the resulting damage, continue to exist and could have a severe and negative impact on the Japanese economy. Japan also has one of the world’s highest population densities, with a significant percentage of its total population concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. As a result, a natural disaster centered in or very near one of these cities could have a particularly devastating effect on Japan’s financial markets. For example, Japan suffered economic distress from the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011 and caused major damage along the coast, including damage to nuclear power plants in the region. These and other factors could have a negative impact on a Fund’s performance.

Foreign Currency Transactions.    Each Fund may conduct foreign currency transactions on a spot, i.e., cash, basis at the prevailing rate in the foreign exchange market or by entering into a forward foreign currency contract. A forward foreign currency contract (“forward contract”) involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific amount of a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days (usually less than one year) from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. Forward contracts are considered to be derivatives. A Fund enters into forward contracts in order to “lock in” the exchange rate between the currency it will deliver and the currency it will receive for the duration of the contract. In addition, each Fund may enter into forward contracts to hedge against risks arising from securities a Fund owns or anticipates purchasing or the U.S. dollar value of interest and dividends paid on those securities.

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If a Fund delivers the foreign currency at or before the settlement of a forward contract, it may be required to obtain the currency by selling some of the Fund’s assets that are denominated in that specific currency. A Fund may close out a forward contract obligating it to purchase a foreign currency by selling an offsetting contract, in which case it will realize a gain or a loss.

Foreign currency transactions involve certain costs and risks. A Fund incurs foreign exchange expenses in converting assets from one currency to another. Forward contracts involve a risk of loss if the Advisor is inaccurate in predicting currency movements. The projection of short-term currency market movements is extremely difficult, and the successful execution of a short-term hedging strategy is highly uncertain. The precise matching of forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved is generally not possible. Accordingly, it may be necessary for a Fund to purchase additional foreign currency if the market value of the security is less than the amount of the foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver under the forward contract and the decision is made to sell the security and deliver the foreign currency. The use of forward contracts as a hedging technique does not eliminate the fluctuation in the prices of the underlying securities a Fund owns or intends to acquire, but it fixes a rate of exchange in advance. Although forward contracts can reduce the risk of loss if the values of the hedged currencies decline, these instruments also limit the potential gain that might result from an increase in the value of the hedged currencies.

There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies, and there is no regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information available is generally representative of very large transactions in the interbank market. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global around-the-clock market. Since foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market involve substantially larger amounts than those that may be involved in the use of foreign currency options, a Fund may be disadvantaged by having to deal in an odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots. A Fund may take positions in options on foreign currencies in order to hedge against the risk of foreign exchange fluctuation on foreign securities the Fund holds in its portfolio or which it intends to purchase.

Depositary Receipts.    A Fund may invest in depositary receipts. American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) are negotiable receipts issued by a U.S. bank or trust company that evidence ownership of securities in a foreign company which have been deposited with such bank or trust company’s office or agent in a foreign country. European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) are negotiable certificates held in the bank of one country representing a specific number of shares of a stock traded on an exchange of another country. Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) are negotiable certificates held in the bank of one country representing a specific number of shares of a stock traded on an exchange of another country. Canadian Depositary Receipts (“CDRs”) are negotiable receipts issued by a Canadian bank or trust company that evidence ownership of securities in a foreign company which have been deposited with such bank or trust company’s office or agent in a foreign country.

Investing in ADRs, EDRs, GDRs and CDRs presents risks that may not be equal to the risk inherent in holding the equivalent shares of the same companies that are traded in the local markets even though a Fund will purchase, sell and be paid dividends on ADRs in U.S. dollars. These risks include fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which are affected by international balances of payments and other economic and financial conditions; government intervention; speculation; and other factors. With respect to certain foreign countries, there is the possibility of expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation, political and social upheaval, and economic instability. A Fund may be required to pay foreign withholding or other taxes on certain ADRs, EDRs, GDRs, or CDRs that it owns, but investors may or may not be able to deduct their pro-rata share of such taxes in computing their taxable income, or take such shares as a credit against their U.S. federal income tax. See “Federal Income Tax Matters.” ADRs. EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs may be sponsored by the foreign issuer or may be unsponsored. Unsponsored ADRs, EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs are organized independently and without the cooperation of the foreign issuer of the underlying securities. Unsponsored ADRs, EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs are offered by companies which are not prepared to meet either the reporting or accounting standards of the United States. While readily exchangeable with stock in local markets, unsponsored ADRs, EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs may be less liquid than sponsored ADRs EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs. Additionally, there generally is less publicly available information with respect to unsponsored ADRs, EDRs, GDRs, and CDRs.

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Investment Company Shares

The Funds may invest in shares of other investment companies (each, an “Underlying Fund”), including open-end funds, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts (“UITs”) and exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), to the extent permitted by applicable law and subject to certain restrictions set forth in this SAI.

Under Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act, the Fund may acquire shares of an Underlying Fund in amounts which, as determined immediately after the acquisition is made, do not exceed (i) 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of such Underlying Fund, (ii) 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets, and (iii) 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets when combined with all other Underlying Fund shares held by the Fund. The Fund may exceed these statutory limits when permitted by SEC order or other applicable law or regulatory guidance, such as is the case with many ETFs. In October 2020, the SEC adopted certain regulatory changes and took other actions related to the ability of an investment company to invest in the shares of another investment company. These changes include, in part, the rescission of certain SEC exemptive orders permitting investments in excess of the statutory limits, the withdrawal of certain related SEC staff no-action letters, and the adoption of Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act, which permits the Fund to invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits, subject to certain conditions. Rule 12d1-4, among other things, (1) applies to both “acquired funds” and “acquiring funds,” each as defined under the rule; (2) includes limits on control and voting of acquired funds’ shares; (3) requires that the investment advisers of acquired funds and acquiring funds relying on the rule make certain specified findings based on their evaluation of the relevant fund of funds structure; (4) requires acquired funds and acquiring funds that are relying on the rule, and which do not have the same investment adviser, to enter into fund of funds investment agreements, which must include specific terms; and (5) includes certain limits on complex fund of funds structures.

Generally, under Sections 12(d)(1)(F) and 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act and SEC rules adopted pursuant to the 1940 Act, a Fund may acquire the shares of affiliated and unaffiliated Underlying Funds subject to the following guidelines and restrictions:

       a Fund may own an unlimited amount of the shares of any registered open-end fund or registered UIT that is affiliated with the Fund, so long as any such Underlying Fund has a policy that prohibits it from acquiring any shares of registered open-end funds or registered UITs in reliance on certain sections of the 1940 Act.

       a Fund and its “affiliated persons” may own up to 3% of the outstanding stock of any fund, subject to the following restrictions:

       a Fund and each Underlying Fund, in the aggregate, may not charge a sales load greater than the limits set forth in Rule 2830(d)(3) of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) applicable to funds of funds;

       each Underlying Fund is not obligated to redeem more than 1% of its total outstanding shares during any period less than 30 days; and

       the Fund is obligated either to (i) seek instructions from its shareholders with regard to the voting of all proxies with respect to the Underlying Fund and to vote in accordance with such instructions, or (ii) to vote the shares of the Underlying Fund held by the Fund in the same proportion as the vote of all other shareholders of the Underlying Fund.

Underlying Funds typically incur fees that are separate from those fees incurred directly by a Fund. A Fund’s purchase of such investment company shares results in the layering of expenses as Fund shareholders would indirectly bear a proportionate share of the operating expenses of such investment companies, including advisory fees, in addition to paying Fund expenses. In addition, the shares of other investment companies may also be leveraged and will therefore be subject to certain leverage risks. The net asset value and market value of leveraged securities will be more volatile and the yield to shareholders will tend to fluctuate more than the yield generated by unleveraged securities. Investment companies may have investment policies that differ from those of the Fund.

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Under certain circumstances an open-end investment company in which a Fund invests may determine to make payment of a redemption by the Fund wholly or in part by a distribution in kind of securities from its portfolio, instead of in cash. As a result, a Fund may hold such securities until the Advisor determines it is appropriate to dispose of them. Such disposition will impose additional costs on the Fund.

Investment decisions by the investment advisors to the registered investment companies in which a Fund invests are made independently of the Fund. At any particular time, one Underlying Fund may be purchasing shares of an issuer whose shares are being sold by another Underlying Fund. As a result, under these circumstances the Fund indirectly would incur certain transactional costs without accomplishing any investment purpose.

Exchange-Traded Funds

A Fund may invest in ETFs. ETFs are pooled investment vehicles that generally seek to track the performance of specific indices. ETFs may be organized as open-end funds or as UITs. Their shares are listed on stock exchanges and can be traded throughout the day at market-determined prices.

An ETF generally issues index-based investments in large aggregations of shares known as “Creation Units” in exchange for a “Portfolio Deposit” consisting of (a) a portfolio of securities designated by the ETF, (b) a cash payment equal to a pro rata portion of the dividends accrued on the ETF’s portfolio securities since the last dividend payment by the ETF, net of expenses and liabilities, and (c) a cash payment or credit (“Balancing Amount”) designed to equalize the net asset value of the shares and the net asset value of a Portfolio Deposit.

Shares of ETFs are not individually redeemable, except upon the reorganization, merger, conversion or liquidation of the ETF. To redeem shares of an ETF, an investor must accumulate enough shares of the ETF to reconstitute a Creation Unit. The liquidity of small holdings of ETF shares, therefore, will depend upon the existence of a secondary market for such shares. Upon redemption of a Creation Unit, the investor will receive securities designated by the ETF (“Redemption Securities”) and a cash payment in an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the shares being redeemed and the net asset value of the Redemption Securities.

The price of ETF shares is based upon (but not necessarily identical to) the value of the securities held by the ETF. Accordingly, the level of risk involved in the purchase or sale of ETF shares is similar to the risk involved in the purchase or sale of traditional common stock, with the exception that the pricing mechanism for ETF shares is based on a basket of stocks. Disruptions in the markets for the securities underlying ETF shares purchased or sold by a Fund could result in losses on such shares. There is no assurance that the requirements of the national securities exchanges necessary to maintain the listing of shares of any ETF will continue to be met.

Closed-End Funds

A Fund may invest in shares of closed-end funds. Investments in closed-end funds are subject to various risks, including reliance on management’s ability to meet the closed-end fund’s investment objective and to manage the closed-end fund portfolio; fluctuation in the net asset value of closed-end fund shares compared to the changes in the value of the underlying securities that the closed-end fund owns; and bearing a pro rata share of the management fees and expenses of each underlying closed-end fund resulting in a Fund’s shareholders being subject to higher expenses than if he or she invested directly in the closed-end fund(s).

Cyber Security Risk

Investment companies, such as the Funds, and their service providers may be subject to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized release of confidential information or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Funds or the Adviser, the Funds’ custodian or transfer agent, or intermediaries or other third-party service providers may adversely impact the Funds. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Funds’ ability to calculate its net asset value, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential company information, impede trading, subject a Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses, and cause reputational damage. The Funds may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes. While each Fund and its service providers have established business continuity plans and risk management systems designed to prevent or reduce the impact of cyber security attacks, such plans and systems have inherent limitations due in part to the

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ever-changing nature of technology and cyber security attack tactics, and there is a possibility that certain risks have not been adequately identified or prepared for. Furthermore, the Funds cannot control any cyber security plans or systems implemented by their service providers.

Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Funds invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Funds’ investments in such portfolio companies to lose value.

OTHER INVESTMENT STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS

Equity Securities

Warrants and Rights.    Each Fund may invest in warrants or rights (including those acquired in units or attached to other securities) that entitle (but do not obligate) the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for a specific period of time but will do so only if such equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Advisor. Rights are similar to warrants but typically have a shorter duration and are issued by a company to existing stockholders to provide those holders the right to purchase additional shares of stock at a later date. Warrants and rights do not have voting rights, do not earn dividends, and do not entitle the holder to any rights with respect to the assets of the company that has issued them. They do not represent ownership of the underlying companies but only the right to purchase shares of those companies at a specified price on or before a specified exercise date. Warrants and rights tend to be more volatile than the underlying stock, and if at a warrant’s expiration date the stock is trading at a price below the price set in the warrant, the warrant will expire worthless. Conversely, if at the expiration date the stock is trading at a price higher than the price set in the warrant or right, a Fund can acquire the stock at a price below its market value. The prices of warrants and rights do not necessarily parallel the prices of the underlying securities. An investment in warrants or rights may be considered speculative.

Debt Securities

Sovereign Debt Obligations.    A Fund may invest in sovereign debt obligations, which are securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governments, governmental agencies or instrumentalities and political subdivisions, including debt of developing countries. Sovereign debt may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loans or loan participations. Sovereign debt of developing countries may involve a high degree of risk, and may be in default or present the risk of default. Governmental entities responsible for repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and pay interest when due, and may require renegotiation or rescheduling of debt payments. In addition, prospects for repayment of principal and payment of interest may depend on political as well as economic factors. Although some sovereign debt, such as Brady Bonds, is collateralized by U.S. government securities, repayment of principal and payment of interest is not guaranteed by the U.S. government. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which sovereign debt on which governmental entities have defaulted may be collected in whole or in part.

Synthetic Local Access Instruments.    The Funds may invest in synthetic local access instruments. Participation notes, market access warrants and other similar structured products (collectively, “synthetic local access instruments”) are instruments used by investors to obtain exposure to equity investments in local markets, such as in China and Saudi Arabia, where direct ownership by foreign investors is not permitted or is otherwise restricted by local law. Synthetic local access instruments, which are generally structured and sold OTC by a local branch of a bank or broker-dealer that is permitted to purchase equity securities in the local market, are designed to replicate exposure to one or more underlying equity securities. The price and performance of a synthetic local access instrument are normally intended to track the price and performance of the underlying equity assets as closely as possible. However, there can be no assurance that the results of synthetic local access instruments will replicate exactly the performance of the underlying securities due to transaction costs, taxes and other fees and expenses. The holder of a synthetic local access instrument may also be entitled to receive any dividends paid in connection with the underlying equity assets, but usually does not receive voting rights as it would if such holder directly owned the underlying assets.

Investments in synthetic local access instruments involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the shares of the companies the instruments seek to replicate, including, in particular, the risks associated with investing outside the United States. Synthetic local access instruments also involve risks that are in addition to the risks normally associated with a direct investment in the underlying equity securities. For instance, synthetic local access instruments represent

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unsecured, unsubordinated contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them. Consequently, a purchaser of a synthetic local access instrument relies on the creditworthiness of such a bank or broker-dealer counterparty and has no rights under the instrument against the issuer of the underlying equity securities. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a liquid market for a synthetic local access instrument will exist or that the issuer of the instrument will be willing to repurchase the instrument when an investor wishes to sell it.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

A Fund may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in income producing real estate or real estate related loans or interests. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs, or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of principal and interest payments. Similar to regulated investment companies such as the Fund, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements of the Code. A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of expenses incurred by REITs in which the Fund invests in addition to the expenses incurred directly by the Fund.

Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks in addition to those risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified, and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers and self-liquidation.

Investing in REITs involves risks similar to those associated with investing in small capitalization companies. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than larger company securities. Historically, small capitalization stocks, such as REITs, have had more price volatility than larger capitalization stocks.

REITs may fail to qualify for the favorable federal income tax treatment generally available to them under the Code and may fail to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. REITs (especially mortgage REITs) also are subject to interest rate risks. 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. In contrast, as interest rates on adjustable rate mortgage loans are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates, causing the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed-rate obligations.

Derivatives

The regulation of derivatives markets in the United States is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), signed into law in 2010, granted significant authority to the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to impose comprehensive regulations on the over-the-counter and cleared derivatives markets. These regulations include, but are not limited to, mandatory clearing of certain derivatives and requirements relating to disclosure, margin and trade reporting. New regulations could adversely affect the value, availability and performance of certain derivative instruments, may make them more costly, and may limit or restrict their use by the Funds.

Effective August 19, 2022, the Fund began operating under Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act (the “Derivatives Rule”) which, among other things, governs the use of derivative investments and certain financing transactions (e.g., reverse repurchase agreements) by registered investment companies. The Derivatives Rule requires investment companies that enter into derivatives transactions and certain other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations to, among other things, (i) comply with a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, and (ii) adopt and implement a comprehensive written derivatives risk management program. These and other requirements apply unless (a) the Fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” which the Derivatives Rule defines as a fund that limits its derivatives exposure to 10% of its net assets, or (b) the Fund does not engage in derivatives transactions as defined in the Derivatives Rule. Complying with

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the Derivatives Rule may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. The Derivatives Rule may not be effective to limit the Fund’s risk of loss. In particular, measurements of VaR rely on historical data and may not accurately measure the degree of risk reflected in the Fund’s derivatives or other investments. Other potentially adverse regulatory obligations can develop suddenly and without notice.

Stock Index Futures

Each Fund may invest in stock index futures only as a substitute for a comparable market position in the underlying securities. A stock index future obligates the seller to deliver (and the purchaser to accept), effectively, an amount of cash equal to a specific dollar amount times the difference between the value of a specific stock index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the agreement is made. No physical delivery of the underlying stocks in the index is made. With respect to stock indices that are permitted investments, a Fund intends to purchase and sell futures contracts on the stock index for which it can obtain the best price with consideration also given to liquidity.

OTC Derivatives Transactions

A Fund may enter into OTC derivatives transactions. The Dodd-Frank, which that was signed into law on July 21, 2010, established a new statutory framework that comprehensively regulated the OTC derivatives markets for the first time. Key Dodd-Frank Act provisions relating to OTC derivatives require rulemaking by the SEC and the CFTC, not all of which has been proposed or finalized as at the date of this SAI. Prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, the OTC derivatives markets were traditionally traded on a bilateral basis (so-called “bilateral OTC transactions”). Now certain OTC derivatives contracts are required to be centrally cleared and traded on exchanges or electronic trading platforms called swap execution facilities (“SEFs”).

Bilateral OTC transactions differ from exchange-traded or cleared derivatives transactions in several respects. Bilateral OTC transactions are transacted directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation. Without the availability of a clearing corporation, bilateral OTC transaction pricing is normally done by reference to information from market makers, which information is carefully monitored by the Advisor and verified in appropriate cases. As bilateral OTC transactions are entered into directly with a dealer, there is a risk of nonperformance by the dealer as a result of its insolvency or otherwise. Under recently-adopted CFTC regulations, counterparties of registered swap dealers and major swap participants have the right to elect segregation of initial margin in respect of uncleared swaps. If a counterparty makes such an election, any initial margin that is posted to the swap dealer or major swap participant must be segregated in individual customer accounts held at an independent third party custodian. In addition, the collateral may only be invested in certain categories of instruments identified in the CFTC’s regulations. Agreements covering these segregation arrangements must generally provide for consent by both the counterparty and the swap dealer or major swap participant to withdraw margin from the segregated account. Given these limitations on the use of uncleared swaps collateral, there is some likelihood that the electing counterparty will experience an increase in the costs associated with trading swaps with the relevant swap dealer or major swap participant. Certain other protections apply to a counterparty to uncleared swaps under the CFTC’s regulations even if the counterparty does not elect segregation of its initial margin. These regulations are newly adopted, and it remains unclear whether they will be effective in protecting initial margin in the manner intended in the event of significant market stress or the insolvency of a swap dealer or major swap participant.

Furthermore, a bilateral OTC transaction may only be terminated voluntarily by entering into a closing transaction with the dealer with which a Fund originally dealt. Any such cancellation may require a Fund to pay a premium to that dealer. In those cases in which a Fund has entered into a covered transaction and cannot voluntarily terminate the transaction, the Fund will not be able to sell the underlying security until the transaction expires or is exercised or different cover is substituted. The Fund will seek to enter into OTC transactions only with dealers which agree to, and which are expected to be capable of, entering into closing transactions with the Fund. There is also no assurance that a Fund will be able to liquidate an OTC transaction at any time prior to expiration.

The requirement to execute certain OTC derivatives contracts on SEFs may offer certain advantages over traditional bilateral OTC trading, such as ease of execution, price transparency, increased liquidity and/or favorable pricing. However, SEF trading may make it more difficult and costly for a Fund to enter into highly tailored or customized transactions and may result in additional costs and risks. Market participants such as a Fund that execute derivatives contracts through a SEF, whether directly or through a broker intermediary, are required to submit to the jurisdiction of the SEF and comply with SEF and CFTC rules and regulations which impose, among other things disclosure and

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recordkeeping obligations. In addition, a Fund will generally incur SEF or broker intermediary fees when it trades on a SEF. A Fund may also be required to indemnify the SEF or broker intermediary for any losses or costs that may result from the Fund’s transactions on the SEF.

When-Issued or Delayed-Delivery Securities

The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis. For example, delivery of and payment for these securities can take place a month or more after the date of the purchase commitment. The purchase price and the interest rate payable, if any, on the securities are fixed on the purchase commitment date or at the time the settlement date is fixed. The value of such securities is subject to market fluctuations and, in the case of fixed income securities, no interest accrues to the Fund until settlement takes place. When purchasing a security on a when-issued or delayed-delivery basis, the Fund assumes the rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield fluctuations. Accordingly, at the time the Fund makes the commitment to purchase securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, it will record the transaction, reflect the value each day of such securities in determining its net asset value and, if applicable, calculate the maturity for the purposes of average maturity from that date. At the time of its acquisition, a when-issued security may be valued at less than the purchase price. The Fund will make commitments for such when-issued transactions only when it has the intention of actually acquiring the securities. If, however, the Fund chooses to dispose of the right to acquire a when-issued security prior to its acquisition, it could, as with the disposition of any other portfolio obligation, recognize taxable capital gain or loss due to market fluctuation. Also, the Fund may be disadvantaged if the other party to the transaction defaults.

A transaction in when-issued or delayed-delivery securities would be deemed not to involve a senior security (i.e., it will not be considered a derivatives transaction or subject to asset segregation requirements), provided that (i) the Fund intends to physically settle the transaction, and (ii) the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date. If such a transaction were considered to be a derivatives transaction it would be subject to the requirements of the Derivatives Rule described in the “Derivatives” section of this SAI.

Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with respect to its portfolio securities. Pursuant to such agreements, a Fund acquires securities from financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers deemed to be creditworthy by the Advisor, subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase and the Fund’s agreement to resell such securities at a mutually agreed upon date and price. The repurchase price generally equals the price paid by a Fund plus interest negotiated on the basis of current short-term rates (which may be more or less than the rate on the underlying portfolio security). Securities subject to repurchase agreements will be held by the custodian or in the Federal Reserve/Treasury Book-Entry System or an equivalent foreign system. The seller under a repurchase agreement will be required to maintain the value of the underlying securities at not less than 102% of the repurchase price under the agreement. If the seller defaults on its repurchase obligation, a Fund will suffer a loss to the extent that the proceeds from a sale of the underlying securities are less than the repurchase price under the agreement. Bankruptcy or insolvency of such a defaulting seller may cause a Fund’s rights with respect to such securities to be delayed or limited. Repurchase agreements are considered to be loans under the 1940 Act.

Illiquid and Restricted Securities

Each Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. Illiquid securities are securities that the Funds reasonably expect 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 securities. Illiquid securities may be difficult to value, and a Fund may have difficulty or be unable to dispose of such securities promptly or at reasonable prices.

The Funds may invest in restricted securities. Restricted securities are securities that may not be sold freely to the public absent registration under the Securities Act, or an exemption from registration. While restricted securities are generally presumed to be illiquid, it may be determined that a particular restricted security is liquid. Rule 144A under the Securities Act establishes a safe harbor from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers. Institutional markets for restricted securities sold pursuant to Rule 144A in many cases provide both readily ascertainable values for restricted securities and the ability to liquidate an investment to

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satisfy share redemption orders. Such markets might include automated systems for the trading, clearance and settlement of unregistered securities of domestic and foreign issuers, such as the PORTAL System sponsored by NASDAQ. An insufficient number of qualified buyers interested in purchasing Rule 144A eligible restricted securities, however, could adversely affect the marketability of such portfolio securities and result in the Funds’ inability to dispose of such securities promptly or at favorable prices.

The Funds may purchase commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act. 4(a)(2) commercial paper typically has the same price and liquidity characteristics as commercial paper, except that the resale of 4(a)(2) commercial paper is limited to the institutional investor marketplace. Such a restriction on resale makes 4(2) commercial paper technically a restricted security under the Securities Act. In practice, however, 4(a)(2) commercial paper can be resold as easily as any other unrestricted security held by the Funds.

Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act requires, among other things, that the Funds establish a liquidity risk management program (“LRMP”) that is reasonably designed to assess and manage liquidity risk. Rule 22e-4 defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that a fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the fund without significant dilution of the remaining investors’ interests in the fund. The Funds have implemented a LRMP to meet the relevant requirements. Additionally, the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, has approved the designation of the Advisor as the Funds’ LRMP administrator to administer such program, and will review no less frequently than annually a written report prepared by the Advisor that addresses the operation of the LRMP and assesses its adequacy and effectiveness of implementation. Among other things, the LRMP provides for the classification of each Fund investment as a “highly liquid investment,” “moderately liquid investment,” “less liquid investment” or “illiquid investment.” The liquidity risk classifications of the Funds’ investments are determined after reasonable inquiry and taking into account relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations. To the extent that a Fund investment is deemed to be an “illiquid investment” or a “less liquid investment,” the Funds can expect to be exposed to greater liquidity risk. There is no guarantee the LRMP will be effective in its operations, and complying with Rule 22e-4, including bearing related costs, could impact a Fund’s performance and its ability to seek its investment objective.

A Fund will not purchase illiquid securities if, as a result of the purchase, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets are invested in such securities. If at any time a portfolio manager and/or the Advisor determines that the value of illiquid securities held by the Fund exceeds 15% of the Fund’s net assets, the Fund’s portfolio managers and the Advisor will take such steps as they consider appropriate to reduce the percentage as soon as reasonably practicable.

Large Shareholder Redemption Risk

Certain account holders may from time to time own (beneficially or of record) or control a significant percentage of a Fund’s shares. Redemptions by these account holders of their shares in a Fund may impact the Fund’s liquidity and net asset value. Such redemptions may also force a Fund to sell securities at a time when it would not otherwise do so, which may increase the Fund’s broker costs and impact shareholder taxes.

Temporary Investments

Each Fund may take temporary defensive measures that are inconsistent with the Fund’s normal fundamental or non-fundamental investment policies and strategies in response to adverse market, economic, political, or other conditions as determined by the Advisor. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, investments in (1) highly liquid short-term fixed income securities issued by or on behalf of municipal or corporate issuers, obligations of the U.S. government and its agencies, commercial paper, and bank certificates of deposit; (2) repurchase agreements involving any such securities; and (3) other money market instruments. Each Fund also may invest in shares of money market mutual funds to the extent permitted under applicable law. Money market mutual funds are investment companies, and the investments in those companies by a Fund are in some cases subject to certain fundamental investment restrictions. As a shareholder in a mutual fund, a Fund will bear its ratable share of its expenses, including management fees, and will remain subject to payment of the fees to the Advisor, with respect to assets so invested. A Fund may not achieve its investment objectives during temporary defensive periods.

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LIBOR Risk

The London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) was a leading benchmark or reference rate for various commercial and financial contracts, including corporate and municipal bonds, bank loans, asset-backed and mortgage-related securities, interest rate swaps and other derivatives. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced the gradual phase out of the LIBOR rate, with nearly all LIBOR rate publications having ceased as of June 30, 2023 (some LIBOR rates continue to be published, but only on a temporary and synthetic basis). Alternatives to LIBOR have been established and others may be developed. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, has identified the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”) as the preferred alternative rate to LIBOR. SOFR is a relatively new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities. There remains uncertainty surrounding the nature of any replacement rates.

The transition to a new reference rate may result in (i) increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments or contracts that previously relied on or still rely on LIBOR; (ii) a reduction in the value of certain instruments or contracts held by the Fund; (iii) reduced effectiveness of related Fund transactions, such as hedging; (iv) additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks; or (v) costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any pricing adjustments to the Fund’s investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may also adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any such alternative reference rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments or contracts using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

Each Fund has adopted the following restrictions as fundamental policies, which may not be changed without the favorable “vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities” of the Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the “vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities” of a Fund means the vote of the holders of the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares of the Fund represented at a meeting at which the holders of more than 50% of its outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund. Each Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental policy and may be changed without shareholder approval.

The Funds may not:

1.   Issue senior securities, borrow money or pledge its assets, except that (i) a Fund may borrow from banks in amounts not exceeding one-third of its net assets (including the amount borrowed); and (ii) this restriction shall not prohibit the Fund from engaging in options transactions or short sales and in investing in financial futures and reverse repurchase agreements;

2.   Act as underwriter, except to the extent a Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter in connection with the sale of securities in its investment portfolio;

3.   Invest 25% or more of its total assets, calculated at the time of purchase, in any one industry (other than securities issued by the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities);

4.   Purchase or sell real estate or interests in real estate or real estate limited partnerships (although a Fund may purchase and sell securities which are secured by real estate and securities of companies which invest or deal in real estate, such as real estate investment trusts (“REITs”));

5.   Make loans of money, except (a) for purchases of debt securities consistent with the investment policies of a Fund, (b) by engaging in repurchase agreements or, (c) through the loan of portfolio securities in an amount up to 33 1/3% of the Fund’s net assets; or

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6.   Purchase or sell commodities or commodity futures contracts (although a Fund may invest in financial futures and in companies involved in the production, extraction, or processing of agricultural, energy, base metals, precious metals, and other commodity-related products).

Each Fund observes the following restriction as a matter of operating but not fundamental policy, pursuant to positions taken by federal regulatory authorities:

A Fund may not invest, in the aggregate, more than 15% of its net assets in securities that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the securities.

Except with respect to borrowing, if a percentage or rating restriction on investment or use of assets set forth herein or in the Prospectus is adhered to at the time a transaction is effected, later changes in percentage resulting from any cause other than actions by a Fund will not be considered a violation.

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MANAGEMENT OF THE FUNDS

 

Trustees and Officers

The overall management of the business and affairs of the Trust is vested with its Board of Trustees. The Board approves all significant agreements between the Trust and persons or companies furnishing services to it, including the agreements with the Advisor, co-administrators, distributor, custodian and transfer agent. The day-to-day operations of the Trust are delegated to its officers, except that the Advisor is responsible for making day-to-day investment decisions in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective, strategies, and policies, all of which is subject to general supervision by the Board.

The Trustees and officers of the Trust, their years of birth and positions with the Trust, term of office with the Trust and length of time served, their business addresses and principal occupations during the past five years and other directorships held during the past five years are listed in the table below. Unless noted otherwise, each person has held the position listed for a minimum of five years. Charles H. Miller, Ashley Toomey Rabun, William H. Young and James E. Ross are all of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (collectively, the “Independent Trustees”).

Name, Address,
Year of Birth
and Position(s) held
with Trust

Term of
Office
c
and Length
of Time
Served

Principal Occupation
During the
Past Five Years and Other
Affiliations

Number of
Portfolios in
the Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
d

Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
e

“Independent” Trustees:

Charles H. Millera
(born 1947)
Trustee

Since
November 2007

Retired (2013 – present); Executive Vice President, Client Management and Development, Access Data, a Broadridge company, a provider of technology and services to asset management firms (1997 – 2012).

2

None.

Ashley Toomey Rabuna
(born 1952)
Trustee and Chairperson of the Board

Since
November 2007

Retired (2016 – present); President and Founder, InvestorReach, Inc. a financial services consulting firm (1996 – 2015).

2

Select Sector SPDR Trust, a registered investment company (includes 11 portfolios).

William H. Younga
(born 1950)
Trustee

Since
November 2007

Retired (2014 – present); Independent financial services consultant (1996 – 2014); Interim CEO, Unified Fund Services Inc. (now Huntington Fund Services), a mutual fund service provider (2003 – 2006); Senior Vice President, Oppenheimer Management Company (1983 – 1996); Chairman, NICSA, an investment management trade association (1993 – 1996).

2

None.

B-18

Name, Address,
Year of Birth
and Position(s) held
with Trust

Term of
Office
c
and Length
of Time
Served

Principal Occupation
During the
Past Five Years and Other
Affiliations

Number of
Portfolios in
the Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
d

Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
e

James E. Rossa
(born 1965)
Trustee

Since
December 2022

Non-Executive Chairman and Director, Fusion Acquisition Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (March 2021 – present); Non-Executive Chairman and Director, Fusion Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (June 2020 – September 2021); Executive Vice President, State Street Global Advisors, a global asset management firm (2012 – March 2020); Chairman and Director, SSGA Funds Management, Inc., a registered investment advisor (2005 – March 2020); Chief Executive Officer, Manager and Director, SSGA Funds Distributor, LLC, a broker-dealer (2017 – March 2020).

2

SPDR Index Shares Funds, a registered investment company (includes 26 portfolios); SPDR Series Trust, a registered investment company (includes 125 portfolios); Select Sector SPDR Trust, a registered investment company (includes 11 portfolios); SSGA Active Trust, a registered investment company (includes 14 portfolios); Fusion Acquisition Corp II.

Interested Trustee:

Maureen Quilla*
(born 1963)
Trustee and President

Since
June 2019

President, Investment Managers Series Trust (June 2014 – present); EVP/Executive Director Registered Funds (January 2018 – present), Chief Operating Officer (June 2014 – January 2018), and Executive Vice President (January 2007 – June 2014), UMB Fund Services, Inc.; President, UMB Distribution Services (March 2013 – December 2020); Vice President, Investment Managers Series Trust (December 2013 – June 2014).

2

FPA Funds Trust, a registered investment company (includes 5 portfolios), Source Capital, Inc., a closed-end investment company.

B-19

Name, Address,
Year of Birth
and Position(s) held
with Trust

Term of
Office
c
and Length
of Time
Served

Principal Occupation
During the
Past Five Years and Other
Affiliations

Number of
Portfolios in
the Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
d

Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
e

Officers of the Trust

       

Rita Damb
(born 1966)
Treasurer and Assistant Secretary

Since
December 2007

Co-Chief Executive Officer (2016 – present), and Vice President (2006 – 2015), Mutual Fund Administration, LLC; Co-President, Foothill Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor (2018 – 2022).

N/A

N/A

Joy Ausilib

(born 1966)

Vice-President, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer

Since March 2016

Co-Chief Executive Officer (2016 – present), and Vice President (2006 – 2015), Mutual Fund Administration, LLC; Co-President, Foothill Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor (2018 – 2022); Secretary and Assistant Treasurer, Investment Managers Series Trust (December 2007 – March 2016).

N/A

N/A

Diane Drakeb

(born 1967)

Secretary

Since March 2016

Senior Counsel, Mutual Fund Administration, LLC (October 2015 – present); Chief Compliance Officer, Foothill Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor (2018 – 2019).

N/A

N/A

Martin Dziurab

(born 1959)

Chief Compliance Officer

Since
June 2014

Principal, Dziura Compliance Consulting, LLC (October 2014 – present); Managing Director, Cipperman Compliance Services (2010 – September 2014); Chief Compliance Officer, Hanlon Investment Management (2009 – 2010); Vice President −
Compliance, Morgan Stanley Investment Management (2000 − 2009).

N/A

N/A

a   Address for certain Trustees and certain officers: 235 West Galena Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212.

b   Address for Ms. Ausili, Ms. Dam, Ms. Drake: 2220 E. Route 66, Suite 226, Glendora, California 91740.

Address for Mr. Dziura: 309 Woodridge Lane, Media, Pennsylvania 19063.

B-20

c   Trustees and officers serve until their successors have been duly elected.

d   The Trust is comprised of 50 series managed by unaffiliated investment advisors. Each Trustee serves as Trustee of each series of the Trust. The term “Fund Complex” applies only to the series managed by the same investment advisor. The term “Fund Complex” applies only to the series managed by the same investment advisor. The Funds do not hold themselves out as related to any other series within the Trust, for purposes of investment and investor services.

e   “Other Directorships Held” includes only directorship of companies required to register or file reports with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (that is, “public companies”), or other investment companies registered under the 1940 Act.

*   Ms. Quill is an “interested person” of the Trust by virtue of her position with UMB Fund Services, Inc.

Compensation

Effective January 1, 2024, each Independent Trustee receives a quarterly retainer of $40,000; $4,000 for each special meeting attended in person; $2,500 for each special in-person meeting attended by videoconference or teleconference in lieu of in-person attendance in accordance with SEC exemptive relief or to address particularly complex matters or matters requiring review of significant materials in advance of the meeting; and $1,500 for any other special meeting attended by videoconference or teleconference at which Board action is taken and/or materials were prepared for review. Each Independent Trustee also receives an additional annual retainer of $5,000 for serving on any committee of the Board of Trustees. In addition, Ms. Rabun receives an additional annual retainer of $35,000 for serving as Chairperson of the Board; Mr. Young receives an additional annual retainer of $15,000 for serving as Chairperson of the Audit Committee; and Mr. Miller receives an additional annual retainer of $15,000 for serving as Chairperson of the Nominating, Governance and Regulatory Review Committee. The Trust has no pension or retirement plan. No other entity affiliated with the Trust pays any compensation to the Trustees.

Prior to January 1, 2024, each Independent Trustee received a quarterly retainer of $40,000; $4,000 for each special in-person meeting attended, or any special meeting attended by videoconference or teleconference in lieu of in-person attendance in accordance with SEC exemptive relief or to address particularly complex matters or matters requiring review of significant materials in advance of the meeting; and $1,500 for any other special meeting attended by videoconference or teleconference at which Board action was taken and/or materials were prepared for review.

The Trustees may elect to defer payment of their compensation from the Fund under the non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plan for Trustees under which trustees may defer receipt of all or part of their compensation from the Fund. Amounts deferred are deemed invested in shares of one or more of the funds, as selected by the Trustee from time to time. A Trustee’s deferred compensation account will be paid at such times as elected by the Trustee, subject to certain mandatory payment provisions in the Deferred Compensation Plan. Deferral and payment elections under the Deferred Compensation Plan are subject to strict requirements for modification.

B-21

Aggregate Compensation from each Fund for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023:

Charles H.
Miller,
Trustee,
Nominating,
Governance
and
Regulatory
Review
Committee
Chair

Ashley
Toomey
Rabun,
Trustee and
Chairperson

William H.
Young,
Trustee
and Audit
Committee
Chair

James E. 
Ross,
Trustee
4

John P. 
Zader,
Trustee
5

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund1,3

$1,930

$2,136

$1,906

$1,432

$338

Vaughan Nelson International Fund1,3

$1,935

$2,140

$1,911

$1,433

$343

Pension or Retirement Benefits Accrued as Part of Fund’s Expenses

None

None

None

None

None

Estimated Annual Benefits Upon Retirement

None

None

None

None

None

Total Compensation from Fund and Fund Complex Paid to Trustees1,2,3

$3,866

$4,276

$3,817

$2,865

$681

1   For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023.

2   There are currently numerous portfolios comprising the Trust. The term “Fund Complex” applies only to the series managed by the same investment advisor. The Funds do not hold themselves out as related to any other series within the Trust, for purposes of investment and investor services. For the Funds’ fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, the aggregate Independent Trustees’ fees for the Trust were $705,000.

3   Ms. Rabun and Messrs. Miller Young, and Ross elected to defer payment of their compensation from the Funds under the Funds’ non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plan for Trustees under which Trustees may defer receipt of all or part of their compensation from the Funds. As of the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, $87,478, $201,717, $108,194, and $140,331, respectively.

4   Mr. Ross was appointed as an Independent Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Trust, effective December 1, 2022.

5   Mr. Zader resigned from the Board of Trustees of the Trust, effective December 31, 2022.

Ms. Quill is not compensated for her service as Trustee because of her affiliation with the Trust. Officers of the Trust are not compensated by the Fund for their services.

Additional Information Concerning the Board and the Trustees

The current Trustees were selected in November 2007 (June 2019 for Ms. Quill and December 2022 for Mr. Ross) with a view towards establishing a Board that would have the broad experience needed to oversee a registered investment company comprised of multiple series employing a variety of different investment strategies. As a group, the Board has extensive experience in many different aspects of the financial services and asset management industries.

B-22

The Trustees were selected to join the Board based upon the following factors, among others: character and integrity; willingness to serve and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of a Trustee; Ms. Quill satisfying the criteria for not being classified as an “interested person” of the Trust as defined in the 1940 Act; and, as to Ms. Quill, her position with UMB Fund Services, Inc., the Trust’s co-administrator. In addition, the Trustees have the following specific experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills relevant to the operations of the Trust:

    Ms. Rabun has substantial senior executive experience in mutual fund marketing and distribution and serving in senior executive and board positions with mutual funds, including multiple series trusts similar to the Trust.

    Mr. Miller has significant senior executive experience with respect to marketing and distribution of mutual funds, including multiple series trusts similar to the Trust.

    Mr. Young has broad senior executive experience with respect to the operations and management of mutual funds and administration service providers, including multiple series trusts similar to the Trust.

    Mr. Ross has significant senior executive experience with respect to marketing and distribution of mutual funds, including exchange-traded funds.

    Ms. Quill has substantial experience serving in senior executive positions at mutual fund administration service providers.

In its periodic self-assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board’s overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the Fund. The summaries set forth above as to the qualifications, attributes and skills of the Trustees are required by the registration form adopted by the SEC, do not constitute holding out the Board or any Trustee as having any special expertise or experience, and do not impose any greater responsibility or liability on any such person or on the Board as a whole than would otherwise be the case.

The Board of Trustees has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and the Nominating, Governance and Regulatory Review Committee (the “Nominating Committee”).

    The function of the Audit Committee, with respect to each series of the Trust, is to review the scope and results of the series’ annual audit and any matters bearing on the audit or the series’ financial statements and to assist the Board’s oversight of the integrity of the series’ pricing and financial reporting. The Audit Committee is comprised of all of the Independent Trustees and is chaired by Mr. Young. It does not include any Interested Trustees. The Audit Committee is expected to meet at least twice a year with respect to each series of the Trust. The Audit Committee met twice during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, with respect to the Funds.

The Audit Committee also serves as the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee (“QLCC”) for the Trust for the purpose of compliance with Rules 205.2(k) and 205.3(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding alternative reporting procedures for attorneys retained or employed by an issuer who appear and practice before the SEC on behalf of the issuer.

    The Nominating Committee is responsible for reviewing matters pertaining to composition, committees, and operations of the Board, as well as assisting the Board in overseeing matters related to certain regulatory issues. The Nominating Committee meets from time to time as needed. The Nominating Committee will consider trustee nominees properly recommended by the Trust’s shareholders. Shareholders who wish to recommend a nominee should send nominations that include, among other things, biographical data and the qualifications of the proposed nominee to the Trust’s Secretary. The Independent Trustees comprise the Nominating Committee, and the Committee is chaired by Mr. Miller. The Nominating Committee met twice during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023.

B-23

Independent Trustees comprise 80% of the Board and Ashley Toomey Rabun, an Independent Trustee, serves as Chairperson of the Board. The Chairperson serves as a key point person for dealings between the Trust’s management and the other Independent Trustees. As noted above, through the committees of the Board the Independent Trustees consider and address important matters involving each series of the Trust, including those presenting conflicts or potential conflicts of interest. The Independent Trustees also regularly meet outside the presence of management and are advised by independent legal counsel. The Board has determined that its organization and leadership structure are appropriate in light of its fiduciary and oversight obligations, the special obligations of the Independent Trustees, and the relationship between the Interested Trustees and the Trust’s co-administrators. The Board also believes that its structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from management.

Consistent with its responsibility for oversight of the Funds in the interests of shareholders, the Board among other things oversees risk management of the Fund’s investment programs and business affairs directly and through the Audit Committee. The Board has emphasized to the Advisor the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management programs and procedures.

A Fund faces a number of risks, such as investment risk, valuation risk, reputational risk, risk of operational failure or lack of business continuity, and legal, compliance and regulatory risk. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Fund. Under the overall supervision of the Board, the Advisor and other service providers to each Fund employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various of those possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks. Various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (the “CCO”), the Advisor’s management, and other service providers (such as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm) make periodic reports to the Board or to the Audit Committee with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect a Fund can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s risk management oversight is subject to substantial limitations.

Fund Shares Beneficially Owned by Trustees

Certain information regarding ownership by the Trustees of the Funds and other series of the Trust, as of December 31, 2023, is set forth in the following table.

Name of Trustee

Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in the Funds 
(None,
 $1-$10,000, $10,001-
$50,000,
 $50,001-$100,000, 
Over
 $100,000) ($)

Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in all
Registered Investment
Companies Overseen by
Trustee in Family of
Investment Companies ($)

Charles H. Miller, Independent Trustee

None

None

Ashley Toomey Rabun, Independent Trustee

None

None

William H. Young, Independent Trustee

None

Over $100,000

James E. Ross, Independent Trustee

None

None

Maureen Quill, Interested Trustee

None

None

B-24

Control Persons, Principal Shareholders, and Management Ownership

The following table lists the control persons of the Funds as of January 31, 2024. A control person is one who owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a Fund or acknowledges the existence of control.1 Shareholders with a controlling interest could affect the outcome of voting or the direction of management of a Fund.

Fund

Control Persons

Jurisdiction

Percentage of
Total Outstanding
Shares of a Fund
as of January 31,
2024

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94104

CA

98.00%

Vaughan Nelson International Small Cap Fund

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94104

CA

86.70%

1   The Funds have no information regarding the beneficial owners of Fund shares owned through accounts with financial intermediaries.

The following table lists the principal shareholders of the Funds as of January 31, 2024. The principal shareholders are holders of record of 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the indicated classes of the Funds, including the listed shareholders that are financial intermediaries.1

Shareholder

Percentage of
Total Outstanding
Shares of a Fund
as of January 31,
2024

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund – Institutional Class

 

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

San Francisco, CA 94104

98.00%

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund – Investor Class

 

M. Priani

Chicago, IL 60657

100.00%

Vaughan Nelson International Small Cap Fund – Institutional Class

 

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

San Francisco, CA 94104

86.83%

Vaughan Nelson International Small Cap Fund – Investor Class

 

Ascensus Trust Co.

Fargo, ND 58106

93.08%

M. Priani

Chicago, IL 60657

6.92%

1   The Funds have no information regarding the beneficial owners of Fund shares owned through accounts with financial intermediaries.

As of January 31, 2024, the Trustees and officers of the Trust as a group did not own more than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Funds. Furthermore, neither the Independent Trustees, nor members of their immediate families, own securities beneficially or of record in the Advisor, the Funds’ distributor, Natixis Distribution, LLC (the “Distributor”), or any of their respective affiliates.

B-25

The Advisor

Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, LLC., located at 600 Travis Street, Suite 3800, Houston, Texas, 77002, acts as investment advisor to the Funds pursuant to an Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”). The Advisor is a wholly-owned affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, LLC (“NIM”). NIM is part of Natixis Investment Managers, an international asset management group based in Paris, France, that is in turn owned by Natixis, a French investment banking and financial services firm. Natixis is owned by BPCE, France’s second largest banking group. The registered address of Natixis is 30, Avenue Pierre Mendès France, 75013 Paris, France.

Subject to such policies as the Board of Trustees may determine, the Advisor is ultimately responsible for investment decisions for each Fund. Pursuant to the terms of the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor provides each Fund with such investment advice and supervision as it deems necessary for the proper supervision of the Fund’s investments. The Advisor also continuously monitors and maintains each Fund’s investment criteria and determines from time to time what securities may be purchased by each Fund.

The Advisory Agreement will remain in effect for an initial two-year period. After the initial two-year period, the Advisory Agreement will continue in effect with respect to a Fund from year to year only if such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by the Board or by vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities and by a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Advisory Agreement or interested persons of any such party, at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on the Advisory Agreement. The Advisory Agreement is terminable without penalty by the Trust on behalf of a Fund, upon giving the Advisor 60 days’ notice when authorized either by a majority vote of the Fund’s shareholders or by a vote of a majority of the Board, or by the Advisor on 60 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its “assignment” (as defined in the 1940 Act). The Advisory Agreement provides that the Advisor shall not be liable for any error of judgment or for any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with the Advisory Agreement, except for a loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty, or for a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties, or from reckless disregard by the Advisor of its duties under the Advisory Agreement.

In consideration of the services to be provided by the Advisor pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor is entitled to receive from each Fund an investment advisory fee computed daily and paid monthly based on an annual rate equal to a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets specified in the Prospectus.

Fund Expenses

Each Fund is responsible for its own operating expenses (all of which will be borne directly or indirectly by the Funds’ shareholders), including among others, legal fees and expenses of counsel to the Funds and the Funds’ Independent Trustees; insurance (including Trustees’ and officers’ errors and omissions insurance); auditing and accounting expenses; taxes and governmental fees; listing fees; dues and expenses incurred in connection with membership in investment company organizations; fees and expenses of the Funds’ custodians, administrators, transfer agents, registrars and other service providers; expenses for portfolio pricing services by a pricing agent, if any; expenses in connection with the issuance and offering of shares; expenses relating to investor and public relations; expenses of registering or qualifying securities of the Funds’ for public sale; brokerage commissions and other costs of acquiring or disposing of any portfolio holding of the Funds; expenses of preparation and distribution of reports, notices and dividends to shareholders; expenses of the dividend reinvestment plan; compensation and expenses of Trustees; any litigation expenses; and costs of shareholders’ and other meetings.

The Advisor has contractually agreed to waive its fees and/or pay for operating expenses of each Fund to ensure that the total annual fund operating expenses (excluding, as applicable, any taxes, leverage interest, brokerage commissions, dividend and interest expenses on short sales, acquired fund fees and expenses (as determined in accordance with Form N-1A), professional fees related to services for the collection of foreign tax reclaims, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, and extraordinary expenses such as litigation expenses) to the limit set forth below (the “expense cap”). This agreement is effective until February 28, 2025, and it may be terminated before that date only by the Board of Trustees.

B-26

Expense Cap
as percent of

the average daily
net assets

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund – Investor Class

1.25%

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund – Institutional Class

1.00%

Vaughan Nelson International Fund – Investor Class

1.14%

Vaughan Nelson International Fund – Institutional Class

0.89%

Any reduction in advisory fees or payment of a Fund’s expenses made by the Advisor in a fiscal year may be reimbursed by a Fund for a period ending three full fiscal years after the date of reduction or payment if the Advisor so requests. This reimbursement may be requested from a Fund if the reimbursement will not cause a Fund’s annual expense ratio to exceed the lesser of (a) the expense limitation in effect at the time such fees were waived or payments made, or (b) the expense limitation in effect at the time of the reimbursement. However, the reimbursement amount may not exceed the total amount of fees waived and/or Fund expenses paid by the Advisor and will not include any amounts previously reimbursed to the Advisor by a Fund. Any such reimbursement is contingent upon the Board’s subsequent review of the reimbursed amounts. A Fund must pay current ordinary operating expenses before the Advisor is entitled to any reimbursement of fees and/or Fund expenses.

The Funds paid the following advisory fees to the previous advisor, Advisory Research, Inc., and the Advisor for the periods indicated:

Advisory
Fees

Accrued

Advisory Fees
Waived

Advisory
Fee

Retained

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2023

     

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$322,470

$303,329

$19,141

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$269,798

$269,798

$0

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2022

     

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$280,269

$280,269

$0

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$360,621

$223,732

$136,889

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2021

     

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$309,427

$213,706

$95,721

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$273,342

$246,448

$26,894

Portfolio Managers

Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers.    As of October 31, 2023, information on other accounts managed by the portfolio managers is as follows.

Registered Investment
Companies

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

Other Accounts

Portfolio Managers

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Adam C. Rich

0

$0

4

$123.2

0

$0

Kevin A. Ross

0

$0

4

$123.2

0

$0

Marco Priani

0

$0

4

$123.2

0

$0

B-27

Number of Accounts with Advisory Fee Based on Performance

 

Registered Investment
Companies

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

Other Accounts

Portfolio Managers

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Number of
Accounts

Total Assets
(in Million)

Adam C. Rich

0

$0

0

$0

0

$0

Kevin A. Ross

0

$0

0

$0

0

$0

Marco Priani

0

$0

0

$0

0

$0

Portfolio Manager Compensation

The compensation program at the Advisor is designed to align the interests of portfolio management professionals with the interests of clients and the Advisor by retaining top-performing employees and creating incentives to enhance the Advisor’s long-term success.

Compensation of portfolio management professionals includes a fixed base salary, a variable bonus and deferral plan and a contribution to the firm’s retirement plan.

All portfolio management professionals (at the discretion of the Compensation Committee of the Vaughan Nelson Board) participate in the variable bonus and deferral plan component which, as a whole, is based upon a percentage of the Advisor’s net profit. Each portfolio management professional’s participation in the variable bonus and deferral plan is based upon many factors, including but not limited to:

    Performance of the strategy managed (both absolute and relative to peers)

    Amount of revenue derived from the strategy managed

    Contribution to the development and execution of the firm’s investment philosophy and process

    Participation and effectiveness in performing client service activities and marketing initiatives

The degree to which any one factor influences participation in the bonus pool will vary between individuals and over time. A portion of the variable bonus is subject to deferral and each participant has the option to invest the deferral into the Advisor managed product(s) while it vests. Each year’s deferral is paid out over a period of three years. Payments are conditioned upon compliance with non-compete and non-solicitation arrangements.

The contribution to the firm’s retirement plan is based on a percentage (at the discretion of the Vaughan Nelson Board) of total cash compensation (subject to the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) limits) and such percentage is the same for all firm personnel. Compensation at the Advisor is determined by the Compensation Committee at the recommendation of the Chief Executive Officer.

There is no distinction for purposes of compensation between the Fund and any other accounts managed.

Material Conflicts of Interest

Actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or other account. A portfolio manager potentially could give favorable treatment to some accounts for a variety of reasons, including favoring larger accounts, accounts that pay higher fees, accounts that pay performance-based fees, accounts of affiliated companies and accounts in which the portfolio manager has an interest. Such favorable treatment could lead to more favorable investment opportunities or allocations for some accounts. The Advisor has adopted policies and procedures to mitigate the effects of these conflicts and to ensure that the Fund will not be treated less favorably. There will be instances where similar portfolio transactions will be executed for the same security for numerous accounts managed by the portfolio managers. In such instances, securities will be allocated in accordance with the Advisor’s trade allocation policy.

B-28

Ownership of the Funds by Portfolio Managers

The following chart sets forth the dollar range of equity securities owned by each portfolio manager in the Funds as of October 31, 2023:

Name of Portfolio Manager

Dollar Range of
Securities in the Funds

(A: None, B: $1-$10,000, C: $10,001-$50,000,
D: $50,001-$100,000, E: $100,001-$500,000,
F: $500,001-$1,000,000, G: Over $1,000,000)

 

Vaughan Nelson Emerging
Markets Fund

Vaughan Nelson
International Fund

Adam C. Rich

A

A

Kevin A. Ross

D

B

Marco Priani

A

A

Service Providers

Pursuant to a Co-Administration Agreement (the “Co-Administration Agreement”), UMB Fund Services, Inc. (“UMBFS”), 235 West Galena Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212, and Mutual Fund Administration, LLC (“MFAC”), 2220 E. Route 66, Suite 226, Glendora, California 91740 (collectively the “Co-Administrators”), act as co-administrators for the Funds. The Co-Administrators provide certain administrative services to each Fund, including, among other responsibilities, coordinating the negotiation of contracts and fees with, and the monitoring of performance and billing of, the Fund’s independent contractors and agents; preparing for signature by an officer of the Trust of all documents required to be filed for compliance with applicable laws and regulations including those of the securities laws of various states; arranging for the computation of performance data, including net asset value and yield; arranging for the maintenance of books and records of the Fund; and providing, at their own expense, office facilities, equipment and personnel necessary to carry out their duties. In this capacity, the Co-Administrators do not have any responsibility or authority for the management of the Funds, the determination of investment policy, or for any matter pertaining to the distribution of Fund shares. The Co-Administration Agreement provides that neither Co-Administrator shall be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Trust or its series, except for losses resulting from a Co-Administrator’s willful misfeasance, bad faith or negligence in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by it of its obligations and duties under the Agreement.

Pursuant to the Co-Administration Agreement, the Funds pay the Co-Administrators a fee for administration services. The fee is payable monthly based on the Funds’ average daily net assets.

Each Fund paid the following co-administration fees (which include fund administration and accounting fees) for the periods indicated:

Fiscal Year Ended

 

October 31,
2023

October 31,
2022

October 31,
2021

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$117,900

$110,528

$100,233

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$127,958

$105,449

$114,272

UMBFS also acts as the Trust’s fund accountant, transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent pursuant to separate agreements.

UMB Bank, n.a. (the “Custodian”), an affiliate of UMBFS, is the custodian of the assets of the Fund pursuant to a custody agreement between the Custodian and the Trust, whereby the Custodian provides services for fees on a transactional basis plus out-of-pocket expenses. The Custodian’s address is 928 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. The Custodian does not participate in decisions pertaining to the purchase and sale of securities by the Fund.

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Tait, Weller & Baker LLP (“Tait Weller”), Two Liberty Place, 50 S. 16th Street, Suite 2900, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-2529, is the independent registered public accounting firm for each Fund. Its services include auditing the Fund’s financial statements and the performance of related tax services.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (“Morgan Lewis”), 600 Anton Boulevard, Suite 1800, Costa Mesa, California 92626, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

Paul Hastings LLP (“Paul Hastings”), 101 California Street, 48th Floor, San Francisco, California 94111, serves as legal counsel to the Independent Trustees.

Distributor and the Distribution Agreement

Natixis Distribution, LLC is the distributor (also known as the principal underwriter) of the shares of each Fund and is located at 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197. Natixis is a registered broker-dealer and is a member of FINRA. The Distributor is an affiliate of the Advisor but is not affiliated with the Trust or any other service provider for the Funds.

Under a Distribution Agreement with the Trust dated October 28, 2019 (the “Distribution Agreement”), the Distributor acts as the agent of the Trust in connection with the continuous offering of shares of the Funds. The Distributor continually distributes shares of the Funds on a best efforts basis. The Distributor has no obligation to sell any specific quantity of a Fund’s shares. The Distributor and its officers have no role in determining the investment policies or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust.

The Distributor may enter into agreements with selected broker-dealers, banks or other financial intermediaries for distribution of shares of the Funds. With respect to certain financial intermediaries and related fund “supermarket” platform arrangements, the Funds and/or the Advisor, rather than the Distributor, typically enter into such agreements. These financial intermediaries may charge a fee for their services and may receive shareholder service or other fees from parties other than the Distributor. These financial intermediaries may otherwise act as processing agents and are responsible for promptly transmitting purchase, redemption and other requests to the Funds.

Investors who purchase shares through financial intermediaries will be subject to the procedures of those intermediaries through which they purchase shares, which may include charges, investment minimums, cutoff times and other restrictions in addition to, or different from, those listed herein. Information concerning any charges or services will be provided to customers by the financial intermediary through which they purchase shares. Investors purchasing shares of the Funds through financial intermediaries should acquaint themselves with their financial intermediary’s procedures and should read the Prospectus in conjunction with any materials and information provided by their financial intermediary. The financial intermediary, and not its customers, will be the shareholder of record, although customers may have the right to vote shares depending upon their arrangement with the financial intermediary. The Distributor does not receive compensation from the Funds for its distribution services except the distribution/service fees with respect to the shares of those classes for which a Rule 12b-1 distribution plan is effective. The Advisor pays the Distributor a fee for certain distribution-related services.

The Distribution Agreement has an initial term of up to two years and will continue in effect only if such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by the Board or by vote of a majority of each Fund’s outstanding voting securities in accordance with the 1940 Act. The Distribution Agreement is terminable without penalty by the Trust on behalf of a Fund on no less than 60 days’ written notice when authorized either by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of a Fund or by vote of a majority of the members of the Board who are not “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Distribution Agreement, or by the Distributor, and will automatically terminate in the event of its “assignment” (as defined in the 1940 Act). The Distribution Agreement provides that the Distributor shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with the performance of the Distributor’s obligations and duties under the Distribution Agreement, except a loss resulting from the Distributor’s willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of such duties and obligations, or by reason of its reckless disregard thereof.

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Rule 12b-1 Plan

The Trust has adopted a plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the “12b-1 Plan”) that provides for Fund assets to be used for the payment for distribution services for Investor Class shares. The 12b-1 Plan provides alternative methods for paying sales charges and may help the Funds grow or maintain asset levels to provide operational efficiencies and economies of scale. The 12b-1 Plan also provides for the payment of service fees in connection with the provision of post-sales shareholder liaison services to holders of Investor Class shares, as defined in FINRA regulations, including personal services such as responding to customer inquiries, and services related to the maintenance of shareholder accounts. Because 12b-1 fees are paid out of Fund assets attributable to Investor Class shares on an ongoing basis, they will, over time, increase the cost of an investment and may cost more than other types of sales charges.

The 12b-1 Plan provides that the distribution fees paid by Investor Class shares of a Fund may be used to pay for any expenses primarily intended to result in the sale of shares of such Class, including, but not limited to: (a) costs of payments, including incentive compensation, made to agents for and consultants to the Distributor or the Trust, including pension administration firms that provide distribution services and broker-dealers that engage in the distribution of the shares of such Class of the Fund; (b) payments made to, and expenses of, persons who provide support services in connection with the distribution of shares of such Class of the Fund; (c) payments made pursuant to any dealer agreements between the Distributor and certain broker-dealers, financial institutions and other service providers with respect to such Class of the Fund; (d) costs relating to the formulation and implementation of marketing and promotional activities; (e) costs of printing and distributing prospectuses, statements of additional information and reports of the Fund to prospective shareholders of such Class of the Fund; (f) costs involved in preparing, printing and distributing sales literature pertaining to such Class of the Fund; (g) costs involved in obtaining such information, analyses and reports with respect to marketing and promotional activities that the Trust may deem advisable with respect to such Class of the Fund; and (h) reimbursement to the Advisor for expenses advanced on behalf of the Fund or Class with respect to such activities. The 12b-1 Plan is a compensation plan, which means that the Distributor is compensated regardless of its expenses, as opposed to a reimbursement plan which reimburses only for expenses incurred. The Distributor does not retain any 12b-1 fees for profit. All 12b-1 fees are held in a retention account by the Distributor to pay for and/or reimburse the Advisor for distribution-related expenditures.

The 12b-1 Plan may not be amended to materially increase the amount to be paid by the Funds Investor Class shares for distribution services without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of such shares. The 12b-1 Plan shall continue in effect indefinitely with respect to a Class, provided that such continuance is approved at least annually by a vote of a majority of the Trustees, including the Independent Trustees, cast in person at a meeting called for such purpose or by vote of at least a majority of the outstanding voting securities of such Class. The 12b-1 Plan may be terminated with respect to a Class at any time without penalty by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or by vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of such Class.

If the 12b-1 Plan is terminated for the Fund’s Investor Class shares in accordance with its terms, the obligation of the Fund to make payments pursuant to the 12b-1 Plan will cease and the Fund will not be required to make any payments past the termination date. Thus, there is no legal obligation for the Fund to pay any expenses incurred by the Distributor other than fees already payable under the 12b-1 Plan, if the 12b-1 Plan is terminated in accordance with its terms for any reason.

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The following table shows the 12b-1 fees paid pursuant to the 12b-1 Plan for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023:

12b-1 Fees

Vaughan Nelson Emerging
Markets Fund

Vaughan Nelson
International Fund 

Advertising/Marketing

$0

$0

Printing/Postage

$0

$0

Payment to distributor

$8

$87

Payment to dealers

$0

$0

Compensation to sales personnel

$0

$0

Interest, carrying, or other financing charges

$0

$0

Other

$0

$0

Total

$0

$0

     

Shareholder Service Plan

The Board has adopted, on behalf of each Fund, a Shareholder Service Plan (the “Service Plan”) under which the Advisor will provide, or arrange for others (such as banks, trust companies, broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries (each, a “Service Organization”)) to provide, certain specified non-distribution shareholder servicing functions for Fund shares owned by its respective customers, including but not limited to (a) establishing and maintaining accounts and records relating to customers who invest in the Fund; (b) aggregating and processing orders involving Fund shares; (c) processing dividend and other distribution payments from the Fund on behalf of customers; (d) preparing tax reports or forms on behalf of customers; (e) forwarding communications from the Fund; (f) providing sub-accounting with respect to Fund shares; (g) providing customers with a service that invests the assets of their accounts in Fund shares pursuant to specific or pre-authorized instructions; and (h) providing such other similar services as the Advisor may reasonably request to the extent it or a Service Organization is permitted to do so under applicable statutes, rules or regulations. Each Fund will pay the Advisor or Service Organizations, as applicable, at an annual rate of up to 0.15% of average daily net assets of each share class of the Fund, payable monthly. The amount paid by a Fund to any Service Organization may be expressed in terms of a dollar amount per shareholder account in the Fund held by clients of the Service Organization, and/or in terms of percentage of the net assets of such accounts. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, the Vaughan Nelson International Fund paid $48,268 and the Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund paid $37,257 in shareholder servicing fees.

Marketing and Support Payments

The Advisor, out of its own resources and without additional cost to the Funds or their shareholders, may provide cash payments or other compensation to certain financial intermediaries who sell shares of the Funds. These payments are in addition to other fees described in the Funds’ Prospectuses and this SAI, and are generally provided for shareholder services or marketing support. Payments for marketing support are typically for inclusion of the Funds on sales lists, including electronic sales platforms. Investors may wish to take these payments into account when considering and evaluating recommendations to purchase shares of the Funds.

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PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor determines which securities are to be purchased and sold by each Fund and which broker-dealers are eligible to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions. The purchases and sales of securities in the OTC market will generally be executed by using a broker for the transaction.

Purchases of portfolio securities for each Fund also may be made directly from issuers or from underwriters. Where possible, purchase and sale transactions will be effected through dealers (including banks) that specialize in the types of securities which a Fund will be holding unless better executions are available elsewhere. Dealers and underwriters usually act as principals for their own accounts. Purchases from underwriters will include a concession paid by the issuer to the underwriter and purchases from dealers will include the spread between the bid and the asked price. If the execution and price offered by more than one dealer or underwriter are comparable, the order may be allocated to a dealer or underwriter that has provided research or other services as discussed below.

In placing portfolio transactions, the Advisor will use reasonable efforts to choose broker-dealers capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable price and execution available. The full range and quality of services available will be considered in making these determinations, such as the size of the order, the difficulty of execution, the operational facilities of the broker-dealer involved, the risk in positioning the block of securities, and other factors. In those instances where it is reasonably determined that more than one broker-dealer can offer the services needed to obtain the most favorable price and execution available, consideration may be given to those broker-dealers which furnish or supply research and statistical information to the Advisor that they may lawfully and appropriately use in their investment advisory capacities, as well as provide other services in addition to execution services. The Advisor considers such information, which is in addition to and not in lieu of the services required to be performed by it under its Advisory Agreement with the Funds, to be useful in varying degrees, but of indeterminable value.

While it is each Fund’s general policy to seek to obtain the most favorable price and execution available in selecting a broker-dealer to execute portfolio transactions for the Fund, weight is also given to the ability of a broker-dealer to furnish brokerage and research services as defined in Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, to a Fund or to the Advisor, even if the specific services are not directly useful to the Fund and may be useful to the Advisor in advising other clients. In negotiating commissions with a broker or evaluating the spread to be paid to a dealer, a Fund may therefore pay a higher commission or spread than would be the case if no weight were given to the furnishing of these supplemental services, provided that the amount of such commission or spread has been determined in good faith by the Advisor to be reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and/or research services provided by such broker-dealer. The standard of reasonableness is to be measured in light of the Advisor’s overall responsibilities to the Fund.

Investment decisions for each Fund are made independently from those of other client accounts that may be managed or advised by the Advisor. Nevertheless, it is possible that at times, identical securities will be acceptable for both a Fund and one or more of such client accounts. In such event, the position of the Fund and such client accounts in the same issuer may vary and the holding period may likewise vary. However, to the extent any of these client accounts seek to acquire the same security as the Fund at the same time, the Fund may not be able to acquire as large a position in such security as it desires, or it may have to pay a higher price or obtain a lower yield for such security. Similarly, the Fund may not be able to obtain as high a price for, or as large an execution of, an order to sell any particular security at the same time as the Advisor’s other client accounts.

The Funds do not effect securities transactions through brokers in accordance with any formula, nor does it effect securities transactions through brokers for selling shares of the Funds. However, broker-dealers who execute brokerage transactions may effect purchase of shares of a Fund for their customers. The brokers may also supply the Funds with research, statistical and other services.

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The Funds paid the following brokerage and soft dollar commissions for the periods indicated:

Brokerage
Commissions

Soft Dollar
Commissions

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2023

   

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$48,279

$20,286

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$34,969

$14,925

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2022

   

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$54,052

$18,594

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$50,996*

$7,798**

For the Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2021

   

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

$56,233

$22,987

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

$24,741

$532

*   The increase in brokerage commissions from 2021 to 2022 with respect to the Vaughan Nelson International Fund was due to an increase in volatility from unstable market conditions worldwide, which resulted in higher portfolio turnover.

**    The increase in soft dollar commissions from 2021 to 2022 with respect to the Vaughan Nelson International Fund was due to an increased use of expert brokers and regional specialists which provided additional research.

Holdings of Securities of the Funds’ Regular Brokers or Dealers

From time to time, the Funds may acquire and hold securities issued by its “regular brokers or dealers” or the parents of those brokers or dealers. “Regular brokers or dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of a Fund are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year, (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from a Fund’s portfolio transactions, (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of the portfolio transactions of a Fund, or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of a Fund’s shares. Neither Fund held any securities of its “regular brokers or dealers” during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023.

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

Although the Funds generally will not invest for short-term trading purposes, portfolio securities may be sold without regard to the length of time they have been held when, in the opinion of the Advisor, investment considerations warrant such action. Portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing (1) the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by (2) the monthly average of the value of portfolio securities owned during the fiscal year. A 100% turnover rate would occur if all the securities in a Fund’s portfolio, with the exception of securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less, were sold and either repurchased or replaced within one year. A high rate of portfolio turnover (100% or more) generally leads to higher transaction costs and may result in a greater number of taxable transactions. To the extent net short-term capital gains are realized, any distributions resulting from such gains will generally be taxed at ordinary income tax rates for federal income tax purposes.

Each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was as follows for the periods indicated:

Fiscal Year Ended

 

October 31,
2023

October 31,
2022

Vaughan Nelson Emerging Markets Fund

59%

68%

Vaughan Nelson International Fund

58%

92%

PROXY VOTING POLICY

The Board has adopted Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (“Trust Policies”) on behalf of the Trust, which delegates the responsibility for voting each Fund’s proxies to the Advisor, subject to the Board’s continuing oversight. The Trust Policies require that the Advisor vote proxies received in a manner consistent with the best interests of each Fund. The Trust Policies also require the Advisor to present to the Board, at least annually, the Advisor’s Proxy Voting Policies and

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Procedures (“Advisor Policies”) and a record of each proxy voted by the Advisor on behalf of each Fund, including a report on the resolution of all proxies identified by the Advisor as involving a conflict of interest. See Appendix B for the Trust Policies and Advisor Policies. The Trust Policies and Advisor Policies are intended to serve as guidelines and to further the economic value of each security held by each Fund. The Trust’s CCO will review the Trust Policies and Advisor Policies annually. Each proxy will be considered individually, taking into account the relevant circumstances at the time of each vote.

If a proxy proposal raises a material conflict between the Advisor’s interests and a Fund’s interests, the Advisor will resolve the conflict by following the Advisor’s policy guidelines or the recommendation of an independent third party.

Each Fund is required to annually file Form N-PX, which lists the Fund’s complete proxy voting record for the 12-month period ended June 30th each year. Once filed, the Fund’s proxy voting record will be available without charge, upon request, by calling toll-free 1-888-660-6610 and on the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov.

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING PROGRAM

The Trust has established an Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program (the “Program”) as required by the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA PATRIOT Act”). In order to ensure compliance with this law, the Program provides for the development and implementation of internal practices, procedures and controls, designation of anti-money laundering compliance officers, an ongoing training program and an independent audit function to determine the effectiveness of the Program.

Procedures to implement the Program include, but are not limited to, determining that the Distributor and the Funds’ Transfer Agent have established proper anti-money laundering procedures, reporting suspicious and/or fraudulent activity, checking shareholder names against designated government lists, including Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), and a complete and thorough review of all new opening account applications. The Trust will not transact business with any person or entity whose identity cannot be adequately verified under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

The Trust has adopted policies and procedures regarding disclosure of portfolio holdings information (the “Disclosure Policy”). The Board of Trustees determined that the adoption of the Disclosure Policy, including the disclosure permitted therein, was in the best interests of the Trust. The Disclosure Policy applies to each Fund, the Advisor and other internal parties involved in the administration, operation or custody of the Fund, including, but not limited to UMBFS, MFAC, the Board of Trustees, counsel to the Trust, Morgan Lewis, counsel to the Independent Trustees, Paul Hastings, and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, Tait, Weller & Baker LLP (collectively, the “Service Providers”). Pursuant to the Disclosure Policy, non-public information concerning each Fund’s portfolio holdings may be disclosed to the Service Providers only if such disclosure is consistent with the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and the fiduciary duties owed by each Fund and the Advisor to the Fund’s shareholders. The Funds and their Service Providers may not receive compensation or any other consideration (which includes any agreement to maintain assets in the Funds or in other investment companies or accounts managed by the Advisor or any affiliated person of the Advisor) in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information of the Funds. The Funds’ Disclosure Policy is implemented and overseen by the CCO of the Trust, subject to the oversight of the Board of Trustees. Periodic reports regarding these procedures will be provided to the Trust’s Board.

Portfolio holdings information will be deemed public when it has been (1) posted to the Funds’ public website (https://www.im.natixis.com/us/vaughan-nelson-funds) or (2) disclosed in periodic regulatory filings on the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov). Management of the Funds may make publicly available its portfolio holdings as of the most recent calendar quarter on the Fund’s public website no earlier than five days after the date of such information (e.g., information as of December 31 may be made available no earlier than January 5).

Non-Public Portfolio Holdings Information Policy.    All portfolio holdings information that has not been disseminated in a manner making it available to investors generally as described above is considered non-public portfolio holdings information for the purposes of the Disclosure Policy. Pursuant to the Disclosure Policy, a Fund or its Service

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Providers may disclose non-public portfolio holdings information to certain third parties who fall within pre-authorized categories on a daily basis, with no lag time unless otherwise specified below. These third parties include: (i) the Fund’s Service Providers and others who need access to such information in the performance of their contractual or other duties and responsibilities to the Funds (e.g., custodians, accountants, the Advisor, administrators, attorneys, officers and Trustees) and who are subject to duties of confidentiality imposed by law or contract, (ii) brokers who execute trades for the Fund, (iii) evaluation service providers (as described below) and (iv) shareholders receiving in-kind redemptions (as described below).

Evaluation Service Providers.    These third parties include mutual fund evaluation services, such as Morningstar, Inc. and Lipper, Inc., if a Fund has a legitimate business purpose for disclosing the information, provided that the third party expressly agrees to maintain the non-public portfolio holdings information in confidence and not to trade portfolio securities based on the non-public portfolio holdings information. Subject to the terms and conditions of any agreement between a Fund or its authorized service providers and the third party, if these conditions for disclosure are satisfied, there shall be no restriction on the frequency with which the Fund’s non-public portfolio holdings information is released, and no lag period shall apply. In addition, persons who owe a duty of trust or confidence to a Fund or its Service Providers (such as legal counsel) may receive non-public portfolio holdings information without entering into a non-disclosure agreement.

Shareholder In-Kind Distributions.    A Fund may, in certain circumstances, pay redemption proceeds to a shareholder by an in-kind distribution of portfolio securities (instead of cash). In such circumstances, pursuant to the Disclosure Policy, Fund shareholders may receive a complete listing of the portfolio holdings of the Fund up to seven (7) calendar days prior to making the redemption request provided that they represent orally or in writing that they agree to maintain the confidentiality of the portfolio holdings information and not to trade portfolio securities based on the non-public holdings information.

Other Entities.    Pursuant to the Disclosure Policy, a Fund or the Advisor may disclose non-public portfolio holdings information to a third party who does not fall within the pre-approved categories, and who are not executing broker-dealers; however, prior to the receipt of any non-public portfolio holdings information by such third party, the recipient must have entered into a non-disclosure agreement and the disclosure arrangement must have been approved by the CCO of the Trust. The CCO will report to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis regarding any recipients of non-public portfolio holdings information approved pursuant to this paragraph. Disclosure to firms offering industry-wide services, provided that the firm has agreed in writing to maintain the confidentiality of the Funds’ portfolio holdings, pursuant to this exception include FactSet (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings, provided the next business day) and Advent Software, Inc. (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings) for the purpose of performing certain electronic reconciliations with respect to the Funds. In addition, Natixis Investment Managers LLC, an indirect parent of the Advisor, may receive daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings to perform risk analysis on the Funds. Natixis Investment Managers LLC utilizes a third-party service provider, Aptimum Formation Développement (“Aptimum”), to assist with its analysis of risk. Any sharing of holdings information with Aptimum is subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

The Advisor and its affiliates may provide investment advice to clients other than the Funds that have investment objectives that may be substantially similar to those of a Fund. These clients also may have portfolios consisting of holdings substantially similar to those of a Fund and generally have access to current portfolio holdings information for their accounts. These clients do not owe the Advisor or the Funds a duty of confidentiality with respect to disclosure of their portfolio holdings.

Current Arrangements Regarding Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings.    As of the date of this SAI, the Trust or a Fund has ongoing business arrangements with the following entities which involve making portfolio holdings information available to such entities as an incidental part of the services they provide to the Trust: (i) Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, L.P. (the Advisor), MFAC and UMBFS (the co-administrators), UMB Bank, N.A. (the Custodian), and Natixis (the Distributor) pursuant to investment management, administration, custody, and distribution agreements, respectively, under which the Funds’ portfolio holdings information is provided daily on a real-time basis; (ii) Institutional Shareholder Services pursuant to a proxy voting agreement under which the Funds’ portfolio holdings information is provided daily, subject to a one-day lag; (iii) Tait, Weller & Baker LLP (Independent Registered Public Accounting firm), Morgan Lewis and Paul Hastings (attorneys) to which the Trust provides portfolio holdings information on a regular basis with varying lag times after the date of the information; (iv) Practical Computer Application to which MFAC provides the Trust’s portfolio holdings information on a daily basis for programming and database hosting services in connection

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with MFAC’s administrative services to the Trust; (v) Donnelley Financial Solutions to which the Trust provides portfolio holdings information on a monthly basis in connection with the filings of Form N-PORT; (vi) ICE Data Services, which assists the Funds with classifying their holdings pursuant to their liquidity risk management program, to which the Trust provides portfolio holdings information on a monthly basis with a one- to ten-day time lag; (vii) FactSet (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings, provided the next business day) and Advent Software, Inc. (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings) for the purpose of performing certain electronic reconciliations with respect to the Funds; (viii) Morningstar, Inc, Lipper Morningstar, Inc., Lipper Inc., Refinitiv, Thomson Financial, Vickers Stock Research Corporation, and Bloomberg L.P., to which the Funds’ portfolio holdings information is provided quarterly after the end of the previous fiscal quarter, with a 60-day time lag and no earlier than the date such information is filed on the SEC’s EDGAR system on Form N-PORT (for the first and third fiscal quarters) or the Annual or Semi-Annual Report is mailed to shareholders (for the second and fourth fiscal quarters), as applicable; (ix) VATIT USA Inc. (d/b/a WTax), to which the Fund’s portfolio holdings information is provided on a regular basis with varying lag times after the date of the information for tax services relating to foreign securities; and (x) Gainskeeper, Inc. and its affiliates, pursuant to an administrative agency agreement under which the Trust provides each Fund’s portfolio tax lot holdings and transaction level data information on a daily basis.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

The NAV of each Fund’s shares will fluctuate and is determined as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the normal close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) on each day of NYSE is open for trading. The NAV may be calculated earlier if permitted by the SEC. The NYSE annually announces the days on which it will not be open for trading. The most recent announcement indicates that the NYSE will not be open for the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. However, the NYSE may close on days not included in that announcement.

The NAV of each class is computed by dividing (a) the difference between the value of the Fund’s securities, cash and other assets and the amount of the Fund’s expenses and liabilities attributable to the class by (b) the number of shares outstanding in that class (assets – liabilities/# of shares = NAV). Each NAV takes into account all of the expenses and fees of that class of the Fund, including management fees and administration fees, which are accrued daily.

 

Net Assets

 

=

 

NAV

   

Shares Outstanding

 

Generally, the Fund’s investments are valued at market value or, in the absence of a market value, at fair value as determined in good faith by the Advisor pursuant to procedures approved by or under the direction of the Board. Pursuant to those procedures, the Board has designated the Advisor as each Fund’s valuation designee (the “Valuation Designee”) responsible for determining whether market quotations are readily available and reliable, and making good faith determinations of fair value when appropriate. The Valuation Designee carries out its responsibilities with respect to fair value determinations through its Valuation Committee. As the Valuation Designee, the Advisor is responsible for the establishment and application, in a consistent manner, of appropriate methodologies for determining the fair value of investments, periodically reviewing the selected methodologies used for continuing appropriateness and accuracy, and making any changes or adjustments to the methodologies as appropriate. The Valuation Designee is also responsible for the identification, periodic assessment, and management of material risks, including material conflicts of interest, associated with fair value determinations, taking into account the Fund’s investments, significant changes in the Fund’s investment strategies or policies, market events, and other relevant factors. The Valuation Designee is subject to the general oversight of the Board.

The Funds’ securities which are traded on securities exchanges are valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which such securities are traded, as of the close of business on the day the securities are being valued or, lacking any reported sales, at the mean between the last available bid and ask prices.

Pricing services generally value debt securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but such securities may be held or transactions may be conducted in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes. Odd lots often trade at lower prices than institutional round lots.

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Securities that are traded on more than one exchange are valued on the exchange determined by the Advisor to be the primary market. Securities primarily traded in the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (“NASDAQ”), National Market System for which market quotations are readily available shall be valued using the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”). If the NOCP is not available, such securities shall be valued at the last sale price on the day of valuation, or if there has not been any sale on such day, at the mean between the bid and ask prices. OTC securities which are not traded in the NASDAQ National Market System are valued at the most recent trade price.

Stocks that are “thinly traded” or events occurring when a foreign market is closed but the NYSE is open (for example, the value of a security held by the Fund has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the exchange or market on which the security is principally traded) may create a situation where a market quote would not be readily available. When a market quote is not readily available, the security’s value is based on “fair value” as determined by the Advisor’s procedures, which have been approved by the Board. The Advisor will periodically test the appropriateness and accuracy of the fair value methodologies that have been selected for the Fund. The Fund may hold portfolio securities, such as those traded on foreign securities exchanges that trade on weekends or other days when the Fund’s shares are not priced. Therefore, the value of the Fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem shares.

Short-term debt obligations with remaining maturities in excess of 60 days are valued at current market prices, as discussed above. Short-term securities with 60 days or less remaining to maturity are, unless conditions indicate otherwise, amortized to maturity based on their cost to the Fund if acquired within 60 days of maturity or, if already held by a Fund on the 60th day, based on the value determined on the 61st day.

All other assets of the Funds are valued in such manner as the Advisor, in good faith, deems appropriate to reflect as their fair value.

PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF FUND SHARES

Detailed information on the purchase and redemption of shares is included in the Funds’ Prospectus. Shares of each Fund are sold at the next offering price calculated after receipt of an order for purchase. In order to purchase shares of a Fund, you must invest the initial minimum investment for the relevant class of shares. However, the Funds reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to waive the minimum initial investment amount for certain investors, or to waive or reduce the minimum initial investment for 401(k) plans or other tax-deferred retirement plans. You may purchase shares on any day that the NYSE is open for business by placing orders with the Funds.

The Funds reserve the right to refuse any purchase requests, particularly those that would not be in the best interests of the Funds or their shareholders and could adversely affect the Funds or its operations. This includes those from any individual or group who, in the Funds’ view, is likely to engage in or has a history of excessive trading (usually defined as more than four round-trip transactions out of a Fund within a calendar year). Furthermore, a Fund may suspend the right to redeem its shares or postpone the date of payment upon redemption for more than seven calendar days (i) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend or holiday closings) or trading on the NYSE is restricted; (ii) for any period during which an emergency exists affecting the sale of the Fund’s securities or making such sale or the fair determination of the value of the Fund’s net assets not reasonably practicable; or (iii) for such other periods as the SEC may permit for the protection of the Funds’ shareholders. In addition, if shares are purchased using a check and a redemption is requested before the check has cleared, the Funds may postpone payment of the redemption proceeds up to 15 days while the Funds wait for the check to clear.

Redemptions In-Kind.

The Trust has filed an election under SEC Rule 18f-1 committing to pay in cash all redemptions by a shareholder of record up to amounts specified by the rule (the lesser of (i) $250,000 or (ii) 1% of the Fund’s assets). The Funds have reserved the right to pay the redemption price of its shares in excess of the amounts specified by the rule, either totally or partially, by an in-kind distribution of portfolio securities (instead of cash). The securities so distributed would be valued at the same amounts as those assigned to them in calculating the NAV for the Fund shares being redeemed. If a shareholder receives an in-kind distribution, the shareholder could incur brokerage or other charges in converting the securities to cash.

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The Funds do not intend to hold any significant percentage of their portfolio in illiquid securities, although a Fund, like virtually all mutual funds, may from time to time hold a small percentage of securities that are illiquid. In the unlikely event a Fund were to elect to make an in-kind redemption, a Fund expects that it would follow the normal protocol of making such distribution by way of a pro rata distribution based on its entire portfolio. If a Fund held illiquid securities, such distribution may contain a pro rata portion of such illiquid securities or a Fund may determine, based on a materiality assessment, not to include illiquid securities in the in-kind redemption. The Funds do not anticipate that it would ever selectively distribute a greater than pro rata portion of any illiquid securities to satisfy a redemption request. If such securities are included in the distribution, shareholders may not be able to liquidate such securities and may be required to hold such securities indefinitely. Shareholders’ ability to liquidate such securities distributed in-kind may be restricted by resale limitations or substantial restrictions on transfer imposed by the issuers of the securities or by law. Shareholders may only be able to liquidate such securities distributed in-kind at a substantial discount from their value, and there may be higher brokerage costs associated with any subsequent disposition of these securities by the recipient.

FEDERAL INCOME TAX MATTERS

The following is a summary of certain material U.S. federal (and, where noted, state and local) income tax considerations affecting each Fund and its shareholders. The discussion is very general. Current and prospective shareholders are therefore urged to consult their own tax advisers with respect to the specific federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of investing in the Fund. The summary is based on the laws in effect on the date of this SAI and existing judicial and administrative interpretations thereof, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect.

Each Fund is treated as a separate entity from other series of the Trust for federal income tax purposes. Each Fund has elected to be, and intends to qualify each year for treatment as, a “regulated investment company” under Subchapter M of the Code by complying with all applicable requirements of the Code, including, among other things, requirements as to the sources of the Fund’s income, diversification of the Fund’s assets and timing of Fund distributions. To so qualify, a Fund must, among other things: (a) derive at least 90% of its gross income in each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (i.e., partnerships that are traded on an established securities market or tradable on a secondary market, other than partnerships that derive 90% of their income from interest, dividends, capital gains, and other traditionally permitted mutual fund income); (b) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year, (i) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s assets is represented by cash, securities of other regulated investment companies, U.S. government securities and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the Fund’s assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (ii) not more than 25% of the value of its assets is invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, in the securities (other than the securities of other regulated investment companies) of any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or in the securities of one or more “qualified publicly traded partnerships,” and (c) distribute an amount equal to the sum of at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the dividends-paid deduction) and 90% of its net tax-exempt income, if any, for the tax year (including, for purposes of satisfying this distribution requirement, certain distributions made by the Fund after the close of its taxable year that are treated as made during such taxable year).

As a regulated investment company, each Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its taxable investment income and capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders, provided that it satisfies a minimum distribution requirement. In order to also avoid liability for a non-deductible federal excise tax, a Fund must distribute (or be deemed to have distributed) by December 31 of each calendar year at least the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income for such year, (ii) 98.2% of the excess of its realized capital gains over its realized capital losses for the 12-month period generally ending on October 31 during such year and (iii) any amounts from the prior calendar year that were not distributed and on which the Fund paid no federal income tax. Each Fund will be subject to income tax at the applicable corporate tax rate on any taxable income or gains that it does not distribute to its shareholders. Each Fund’s policy is to distribute to its shareholders all investment company taxable income (determined without regard to the deduction for

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dividends paid) and any net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) for each fiscal year in a manner that complies with the distribution requirements of the Code, so that the Fund will not be subject to any federal income or excise taxes.

If, for any taxable year, a Fund were to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company or were to fail to meet certain minimum distribution requirements under the Code, it would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation and distributions to its shareholders would not be deductible by the Fund in computing its taxable income. In addition, in the event of a failure to qualify, the Fund’s distributions, to the extent derived from the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits, including any distributions of net capital gain would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary dividend income for federal income tax purposes. However, such dividends would be eligible, subject to any generally applicable limitations, (i) to be treated as qualified dividend income in the case of shareholders taxed as individuals and (ii) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. Moreover, if a Fund were to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company in any year, it would be required to distribute its earnings and profits accumulated in that year in order to qualify again as a regulated investment company. Under certain circumstances, a Fund may be able to cure a failure to qualify as a regulated investment company, but in order to do so the Fund might incur significant Fund-level taxes and might be forced to dispose of certain assets. If a Fund failed to qualify as a regulated investment company for a period greater than two taxable years, the Fund would generally be required to recognize any net built-in gains with respect to certain of its assets upon a disposition of such assets within five years of qualifying as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year.

Shareholders generally will be subject to federal income taxes on distributions made by the Funds whether paid in cash or additional shares. Distributions of net investment income (including interest, dividend income and net short-term capital gain in excess of any net long-term capital loss, less certain expenses), other than, qualified dividend income, will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Distributions of qualified dividend income generally will be taxed to non-corporate shareholders at the federal income tax rates applicable to net capital gain, provided the Fund reports the amount distributed as qualified dividend income.

In general, dividends may be reported by the Funds as qualified dividend income if they are attributable to qualified dividend income received by the Funds. Qualified dividend income generally means dividend income received from the Fund’s investments in common and preferred stock of U.S. companies and stock of certain qualified foreign corporations, provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met by both the Funds and its shareholders. If 95% or more of the Fund’s gross income (calculated without taking into account net capital gain derived from sales or other dispositions of stock or securities) consists of qualified dividend income, the Funds may report all distributions of such income as qualified dividend income.

A foreign corporation is treated as a qualified foreign corporation for this purpose if it is incorporated in a possession of the United States or it is eligible for the benefits of certain income tax treaties with the United States and meets certain additional requirements. Certain foreign corporations that are not otherwise qualified foreign corporations will be treated as qualified foreign corporations with respect to dividends paid by them if the stock with respect to which the dividends are paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States. Passive foreign investment companies are not qualified foreign corporations for this purpose. Dividends received by the Funds from REITs generally do not qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income.

Dividends paid by the Funds may qualify in part for the dividends-received deduction available to corporate shareholders, provided the Funds report the amount distributed as a qualifying dividend and certain holding period and other requirements under the Code are satisfied. The reported amount, however, cannot exceed the aggregate amount of qualifying dividends received by the Funds for its taxable year. Eligibility for qualified dividend income treatment and the dividends-received deduction may be reduced or eliminated if, among other things, (i) the shareholder is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property or (ii) certain holding period requirements are not satisfied at both the Funds and shareholder levels. In addition, qualified dividend income treatment is not available if a shareholder elects to have the dividend income treated as investment income for purposes of the limitation on deductibility of investment interest.

If a Fund receives a dividend (other than a capital gain dividend) in respect of any share of REIT stock with a tax holding period of at least 46 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date that is 45 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend, then Fund dividends attributable to that REIT dividend income (as

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reduced by certain Fund expenses) may be reported by the Fund as eligible for the 20% deduction for “qualified REIT dividends” generally available to noncorporate shareholders under the Code. In order to qualify for this deduction, noncorporate shareholders must meet minimum holding period requirements with respect to their Fund shares.

Under Section 163(j) of the Code, a taxpayer’s business interest expense is generally deductible to the extent of the taxpayer’s business interest income plus certain other amounts. If a Fund earns business interest income, it may report a portion of its dividends as “Section 163(j) interest dividends,” which its shareholders may be able to treat as business interest income for purposes of Section 163(j) of the Code. A Fund’s “Section 163(j) interest dividend” for a tax year will be limited to the excess of its business interest income over the sum of its business interest expense and other deductions properly allocable to its business interest income. In general, a Fund’s shareholders may treat a distribution reported as a Section 163(j) interest dividend as interest income only to the extent the distribution exceeds the sum of the portions of the distribution reported as other types of tax-favored income. To be eligible to treat a Section 163(j) interest dividend as interest income, a shareholder may need to meet certain holding period requirements in respect of the Fund shares and must not have hedged its position in the Fund shares in certain ways.

Distributions of net capital gain, if any, that a Fund reports as capital gain dividends will be taxable to non-corporate shareholders as long-term capital gain without regard to how long a shareholder has held shares of the Fund. A Fund may retain certain amounts of capital gains and designate them as undistributed net capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amounts so designated, (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the income tax paid by the fund on those undistributed amounts against their federal income tax liabilities and to claim refunds to the extent such credits exceed their liabilities and (iii) will be entitled to increase their federal income tax basis in their shares by an amount equal to the excess of the amounts of undistributed net capital gain included in their respective income over their respective income tax credits.

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, a Fund is permitted to carry forward indefinitely a net capital loss from any taxable year to offset its capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss. To the extent subsequent capital gains are offset by such losses, they will not result in U.S. federal income tax liability to a Fund and may not be distributed as capital gains to shareholders. Generally, a Fund may not carry forward any losses other than net capital losses. Under certain circumstances, a Fund may elect to treat certain losses as though they were incurred on the first day of the taxable year immediately following the taxable year in which they were actually incurred.

Distributions in excess of earnings and profits will, as to each shareholder, be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of the shareholder’s basis in his or her Fund shares. A distribution treated as a return of capital will reduce the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, which will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or a decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the shareholder for tax purposes on a later sale of such shares. After the shareholder’s basis is reduced to zero, any distributions in excess of earnings and profits will be treated as a capital gain, assuming the shareholder holds his or her shares as capital assets.

A 3.8% Medicare contribution tax generally applies to all or a portion of the net investment income of a shareholder who is an individual and not a nonresident alien for federal income tax purposes and who has adjusted gross income (subject to certain adjustments) that exceeds a threshold amount ($250,000 if married filing jointly or if considered a “surviving spouse” for federal income tax purposes, $125,000 if married filing separately, and $200,000 in other cases). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts. For these purposes, interest, dividends and certain capital gains (among other categories of income) are generally taken into account in computing a shareholder’s net investment income.

Certain tax-exempt educational institutions are subject to a 1.4% tax on net investment income. For these purposes, certain dividends and capital gain distributions, and certain gains from the disposition of Fund shares (among other categories of income), are generally taken into account in computing a shareholder’s net investment income.

Distributions are generally taxable when received. However, distributions declared in October, November or December to shareholders of record on a date in such a month and paid the following January are taxable for federal income tax purposes as if received on December 31 of the calendar year in which declared. In addition, certain distributions made after the close of a taxable year of a Fund may be “spilled back” and treated for certain purposes as paid by the Fund during such taxable year. In such case, shareholders generally will be treated as having received such dividends in the taxable year in which the distributions were actually made. For purposes of calculating the amount of a regulated

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investment company’s undistributed income and gain subject to the 4% excise tax described above, such “spilled back” dividends are treated as paid by the regulated investment company when they are actually paid.

A redemption of Fund shares may result in recognition of a taxable gain or loss. The gain or loss will generally be treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for more than one year, and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for one year or less. Any loss realized upon a redemption or exchange of shares held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions of long-term capital gains during such six-month period. Any loss realized upon a redemption may be disallowed under certain wash sale rules to the extent shares of the Fund or substantially identical stock or securities are purchased (through reinvestment of distributions or otherwise) within 30 days before or after the redemption.

If a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years) the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a regulated investment company are not exempted. The fact that a loss is so reportable does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper.

A Fund’s transactions in options and other similar transactions, such as futures, may be subject to special provisions of the Code that, among other things, affect the character of any income realized by a Fund from such investments, accelerate recognition of income to the Fund, defer Fund losses, affect the holding period of the Fund’s securities, affect whether distributions will be eligible for the dividends received deduction or be treated as qualified dividend income and affect the determination of whether capital gain and loss is characterized as long-term or short-term capital gain or loss. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions may also require a Fund to “mark-to-market” certain types of the positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out), which may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements for avoiding U.S. federal income and excise taxes. The Funds will monitor these transactions and will make the appropriate entries in its books and records, and if the Funds deem it advisable, will make appropriate elections if available in order to mitigate the effect of these rules, prevent disqualification of the Funds as a regulated investment company and minimize the imposition of U.S. federal income and excise taxes.

A Fund’s transactions in broad based equity index futures contracts, exchange traded options on such indices and certain other futures contracts are generally considered “Section 1256 contracts” for federal income tax purposes. Any unrealized gains or losses on such Section 1256 contracts are treated as though they were realized at the end of each taxable year. The resulting gain or loss is treated as 60% long-term capital gain or loss and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. Gain or loss recognized on actual sales of Section 1256 contracts is treated in the same manner. As noted above, distributions of net short-term capital gain are generally taxable to shareholders as ordinary income while distributions of net long-term capital gain are taxable to shareholders as long-term capital gain, regardless of how long the shareholder has held shares of a Fund.

A Fund’s entry into a short sale transaction, an option or certain other contracts, such as futures, could be treated as the constructive sale of an appreciated financial position, causing the Fund to realize gain, but not loss, on the position.

If a Fund invests in certain pay-in-kind securities, zero coupon securities, deferred interest securities or, in general, any other securities with original issue discount (or with market discount if the Fund elects to include market discount in income currently), the Fund must accrue income on such investments for each taxable year, which generally will be prior to the receipt of the corresponding cash payments. However, each Fund must distribute, at least annually, all or substantially all of its investment company taxable income (determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid), including such accrued income to shareholders to avoid federal income and excise taxes. Therefore, a Fund may have to sell portfolio securities (potentially under disadvantageous circumstances) to generate cash, or may have to undertake leverage by borrowing cash, to satisfy these distribution requirements. Dispositions of portfolio securities may result in additional gains and additional distribution requirements.

If a Fund invests in a market discount bond, it will be required to treat any gain recognized on the disposition of such market discount bond as ordinary income (instead of capital gain) to the extent of the accrued market discount, unless the Fund elects to include the market discount in income as it accrues as discussed above. A market discount bond is a security acquired in the secondary market at a price below its redemption value (or its adjusted issue price if it is also an original issue discount bond).

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A Fund may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, including taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains with respect to its investments in those countries, which would, if imposed, reduce the yield on or return from those investments. Tax treaties between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes in some cases. So long as a Fund qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company and incurs “qualified foreign taxes,” if more than 50% of its net assets at the close of its taxable year consist of stock or securities of foreign corporations, which for this purpose may include obligations of foreign governmental issuers, a Fund may elect to “pass through” to its shareholders the amount of such foreign taxes paid. If this election is made, information with respect to the amount of the foreign income taxes that are allocated to a Fund’s shareholders will be provided to them and any shareholder subject to tax on dividends will be required: (i) to include in ordinary gross income (in addition to the amount of the taxable dividends actually received) his/her proportionate share of the foreign taxes paid that are attributable to such dividends; and (ii) either to deduct his/her proportionate share of such foreign taxes in computing his/her taxable income or to claim that amount as a foreign tax credit (subject to applicable limitations) against U.S. income taxes.

Shareholders who do not itemize deductions for U.S. federal income tax purposes will not be able to deduct their pro rata portion of qualified foreign taxes paid by a Fund, although such shareholders will be required to include their shares of such taxes in gross income if the Fund makes the election described above. Qualified foreign taxes generally include taxes that would be treated as income taxes under U.S. tax regulations but do not include most other taxes, such as stamp taxes, securities transaction taxes, and similar taxes. No deduction for such taxes will be permitted to individuals in computing their alternative minimum tax liability.

If a Fund makes the election to pass through qualified foreign taxes and a shareholder chooses to take a credit for the foreign taxes deemed paid by such shareholder, the amount of the credit that may be claimed in any year may not exceed the same proportion of the U.S. tax against which such credit is taken that the shareholder’s taxable income from foreign sources (but not in excess of the shareholder’s entire taxable income) bears to his entire taxable income. For this purpose, long-term and short-term capital gains a Fund realizes and distributes to shareholders will generally not be treated as income from foreign sources in their hands, nor will distributions of certain foreign currency gains subject to Section 988 of the Code or of any other income realized by the Fund that is deemed, under the Code, to be U.S.-source income in the hands of the Fund. This foreign tax credit limitation may also be applied separately to certain specific categories of foreign-source income and the related foreign taxes. As a result of these rules, which may have different effects depending upon each shareholder’s particular tax situation, certain shareholders may not be able to claim a credit for the full amount of their proportionate share of the foreign taxes paid by a Fund. Shareholders who are not liable for U.S. federal income taxes, including tax-exempt shareholders, will ordinarily not benefit from this election. If a Fund does make the election, it will provide required tax information to shareholders. A Fund generally may deduct any foreign taxes that are not passed through to its shareholders in computing its income available for distribution to shareholders to satisfy applicable tax distribution requirements. Under certain circumstances, if a Fund receives a refund of foreign taxes paid in respect of a prior year, the value of the Fund’s shares could be affected, or any foreign tax credits or deductions passed through to shareholders in respect of the Fund’s foreign taxes for the current year could be reduced.

Foreign exchange gains or losses realized by a Fund in connection with certain transactions involving foreign currency-denominated debt securities, certain options and futures contracts relating to foreign currency, foreign currency forward contracts, foreign currencies, or payables or receivables denominated in a foreign currency are subject to Section 988 of the Code, which generally causes such gains or losses to be treated as ordinary gain or loss and may affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders.

The Funds may purchase the securities of certain foreign entities treated as passive foreign investment companies for federal income tax purposes (“PFICs”). PFICs may be the only or primary means by which a Fund may invest in some countries. If a Fund invests in equity securities of PFICs, it may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such securities even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend to shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on the Funds with respect to deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains. Capital gains on the sale of such holdings will be deemed to be ordinary income regardless of how long such PFICs are held. A “qualified electing fund” election or a “mark to market” election may generally be available that would ameliorate these adverse tax consequences, but such elections could require a Fund to recognize taxable income or gain (subject to the distribution requirements applicable to regulated investment companies, as described above) without the concurrent receipt of cash. In order to satisfy the distribution requirements and avoid a tax on the Fund, the Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio securities that it might

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otherwise have continued to hold, potentially resulting in additional taxable gain or loss to the fund. In order for the Fund to make a qualified electing fund election with respect to a PFIC, the PFIC would have to agree to provide certain tax information to the Fund on an annual basis, which it might not agree to do. The Fund may limit and/or manage its holdings in PFICs to limit its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments. Under proposed Treasury Regulations, certain income derived by a Fund for a taxable year from a PFIC with respect to which the Fund has made a qualified electing fund election would generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 90% test described above, only to the extent the PFIC makes distributions in respect of that income to the Fund for that taxable year. A Fund may limit and/or manage its holdings in passive foreign investment companies to limit its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments.

If a sufficient percentage of the equity interests in a foreign issuer that is treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes are held by a Fund, independently or together with certain other U.S. persons, that issuer may be treated as a “controlled foreign corporation” (a “CFC”) with respect to the Fund, in which case the Fund will be required to take into account each year, as ordinary income, its share of certain portions of that issuer’s income, whether or not such amounts are distributed. The Fund may have to dispose of its portfolio securities (potentially resulting in the recognition of taxable gain or loss, and potentially under disadvantageous circumstances) to generate cash, or may have to borrow the cash, to meet its distribution requirements and avoid Fund-level taxes. In addition, some Fund gains on the disposition of interests in such an issuer may be treated as ordinary income. A Fund may limit and/or manage its holdings in issuers that could be treated as CFCs in order to limit its tax liability or maximize its after-tax return from these investments.

In addition, if a Fund owned 10% or more of the voting power of a foreign entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the last tax year of the foreign entity beginning before January 1, 2018, the Funds may be required to include in its income its share of certain deferred foreign income of that foreign entity. Under those circumstances, the Funds may have been able to make an election to pay tax liability in respect of their share of any such income over eight years. It is possible that these deferred payments could affect the value of shares, even though all or some of the Funds’ shareholders at the time of any deferred payment may have derived no economic benefit from the foreign entity’s deferred income.

Non-U.S. persons are subject to U.S. tax on disposition of a “United States real property interest” (a “USRPI”). Gain on such a disposition is sometimes referred to as “FIRPTA gain.” The Code provides a look-through rule for distributions of “FIRPTA gain” if certain requirements are met. If the look-through rule applies, certain distributions attributable to income received by a Fund, e.g., from REITs, may be treated as gain from the disposition of a USRPI, causing distributions to be subject to U.S. withholding tax at rates of up to 21%, and require non-U.S. shareholders to file nonresident U.S. income tax returns.

Each Fund is required to withhold (as “backup withholding”) a portion of reportable payments, including dividends, capital gain distributions and the proceeds of redemptions and exchanges or repurchases of Fund shares, paid to shareholders who have not complied with certain IRS regulations. The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. In order to avoid this withholding requirement, shareholders, other than certain exempt entities, must certify on IRS Forms W-9 or on certain other documents, that the Social Security Numbers or other Taxpayer Identification Numbers they provide are their correct numbers and that they are not currently subject to backup withholding, or that they are exempt from backup withholding. A Fund may nevertheless be required to backup withhold if it receives notice from the IRS or a broker that a number provided is incorrect or that backup withholding is applicable as a result of previous underreporting of interest or dividend income.

Ordinary dividends and certain other payments made by a Fund to non-U.S. shareholders are generally subject to withholding tax at a 30% rate (or a lower rate as may be determined in accordance with any applicable treaty). In order to obtain a reduced rate of withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder will be required to provide an IRS Form W-8BEN or similar form certifying its entitlement to benefits under a treaty. The withholding tax does not apply to regular dividends paid to a non-U.S. shareholder who provides an IRS Form W-8ECI, certifying that the dividends are effectively connected with the non-U.S. shareholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States. Instead, the effectively connected dividends will be subject to regular U.S. income tax as if the non-U.S. shareholder were a U.S. shareholder. A non-U.S. corporation receiving effectively connected dividends may also be subject to additional “branch profits tax” imposed at a rate of 30% (or a lower treaty rate).

The 30% withholding tax described in the preceding paragraph generally will not apply to distributions of net capital gain, to redemption proceeds, or to dividends that a Fund reports as (a) interest-related dividends, to the extent such dividends are derived from the Fund’s “qualified net interest income,” or (b) short-term capital gain dividends, to

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the extent such dividends are derived from the Fund’s “qualified short-term gain.” “Qualified net interest income” is the Fund’s net income derived from U.S.-source interest and original issue discount, subject to certain exceptions and limitations. “Qualified short-term gain” generally means the excess of the net short-term capital gain of a Fund for the taxable year over its net long-term capital loss, if any. In order to qualify for an exemption from withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder will need to comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN or other applicable form). Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that are subject to this 30% withholding tax.

Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Fund shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to a Fund’s dividends payable to such entities. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the United States and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.

This discussion and the related discussion in the Prospectus have been prepared by management of the Funds, and counsel to the Trust has expressed no opinion in respect thereof.

Shareholders and prospective shareholders of a Fund should consult their own tax advisors concerning the effect of owning shares of the Fund in light of their particular tax situations.

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

Each Fund will receive income in the form of dividends and interest earned on its investments in securities. This income, less the expenses incurred in its operations, is a Fund’s net investment income, substantially all of which will be declared as dividends to the Fund’s shareholders.

The amount of income dividend payments by a Fund is dependent upon the amount of net investment income received by the Fund from its portfolio holdings, is not guaranteed and is subject to the discretion of the Board. The Funds do not pay “interest” or guarantee any fixed rate of return on an investment in its shares.

Each Fund also may derive capital gains or losses in connection with sales or other dispositions of its portfolio securities. Any net gain a Fund may realize from transactions involving investments held for less than the period required for long-term capital gain or loss recognition or otherwise producing short-term capital gains and losses (taking into account any available carryover of capital losses), although a distribution from capital gains, will be distributed to shareholders with and as a part of the income dividends paid by a Fund and will generally be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income for federal income tax purposes. If during any year a Fund realizes a net gain on transactions involving investments held for more than the period required for long-term capital gain or loss recognition or otherwise producing long-term capital gains and losses, the Fund will have a net long-term capital gain. After deduction of the amount of any net short-term capital loss, the balance (to the extent not offset by any capital losses available to be carried over) generally will be distributed and treated as long-term capital gains in the hands of the shareholders regardless of the length of time a Fund’s shares may have been held by the shareholders. For more information concerning applicable capital gains tax rates, see your tax advisor.

Any dividend or distribution paid by a Fund reduces the Fund’s NAV on the date paid by the amount of the dividend or distribution per share. Accordingly, a dividend or distribution paid shortly after a purchase of shares by a shareholder will generally be taxable, even if it effectively represents a partial return of the shareholder’s capital.

Dividends and other distributions will be made in the form of additional shares of a Fund unless the shareholder has otherwise indicated. Investors have the right to change their elections with respect to the reinvestment of dividends and distributions by notifying the Transfer Agent in writing, but any such change will be effective only as to dividends and other distributions for which the record date is seven or more business days after the Transfer Agent has received the written request.

A Fund’s investments in partnerships, if any, including in qualified publicly traded partnerships, may result in that Fund being subject to state, local or foreign income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Investment Managers Series Trust is an open-end management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust under the laws of the State of Delaware on February 15, 2005. The Trust has a number of outstanding series of shares of beneficial interest, each of which represents interests in a separate portfolio of securities.

The Trust’s Declaration of Trust permits the Trustees to create additional series of shares, to issue an unlimited number of full and fractional shares of beneficial interest of each series, including the Funds, and to divide or combine the shares of any series into a greater or lesser number of shares without thereby changing the proportionate beneficial interest in the series. The assets belonging to a series are charged with the liabilities in respect of that series and all expenses, costs, charges and reserves attributable to that series only. Therefore, any creditor of any series may look only to the assets belonging to that series to satisfy the creditor’s debt. Any general liabilities, expenses, costs, charges or reserves of the Trust which are not readily identifiable as pertaining to any particular series are allocated and charged by the Trustees to and among the existing series in the sole discretion of the Trustees. Each share of a Fund represents an interest in the Fund proportionately equal to the interest of each other share. Upon a Fund’s liquidation, all shareholders would share pro rata in the net assets of the Fund available for distribution to shareholders.

The Trust may offer more than one class of shares of any series. Each share of a series or class represents an equal proportionate interest in that series or class with each other share of that series or class. With respect to the Funds, the Trust currently offers two classes of shares: Investor Class and Institutional Class. The Trust has reserved the right to create and issue additional series or classes.

The shares of each series or class participate equally in the earnings, dividends and assets of the particular series or class. Expenses of the Trust which are not attributable to a specific series or class are allocated among all the series in a manner believed by management of the Trust to be fair and equitable. Shares issued do not have pre-emptive or conversion rights. Shares when issued are fully paid and non-assessable, except as set forth below. Shareholders are entitled to one vote for each share held. Shares of each series or class generally vote together, except when required under federal securities laws to vote separately on matters that only affect a particular series or class, such as the approval of distribution plans for a particular class.

The Trust is not required to hold annual meetings of shareholders but will hold special meetings of shareholders of a series or class when, in the judgment of the Board, it is necessary or desirable to submit matters for a shareholder vote. Shareholders have, under certain circumstances, the right to communicate with other shareholders in connection with requesting a meeting of shareholders for the purpose of removing one or more trustees. Shareholders also have, in certain circumstances, the right to remove one or more trustees without a meeting. No material amendment may be made to the Trust’s Declaration of Trust without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of each portfolio affected by the amendment.

The Trust’s Declaration of Trust provides that, at any meeting of shareholders of the Trust or of any series or class, a shareholder servicing agent may vote any shares as to which such shareholder servicing agent is the agent of record for shareholders who are not represented in person or by proxy at the meeting, proportionately in accordance with the votes cast by holders of all shares of that portfolio otherwise represented at the meeting in person or by proxy as to which such shareholder servicing agent is the agent of record. Any shares so voted by a shareholder servicing agent will be deemed represented at the meeting for purposes of quorum requirements. Any series or class may be terminated (i) upon the merger or consolidation with, or the sale or disposition of all or substantially all of its assets to, another entity, if approved by the vote of the holders of two-thirds of its outstanding shares, except that if the Board recommends such merger, consolidation or sale or disposition of assets, the approval by vote of the holders of a majority of the series’ or class’ outstanding shares will be sufficient, or (ii) by the vote of the holders of a majority of its outstanding shares, or (iii) by the Board by written notice to the series’ or class’ shareholders. Unless each series and class is so terminated, the Trust will continue indefinitely.

Shareholders may send communications to the Board. Shareholders should send communications intended for the Board by addressing the communications to the Board, in care of the Secretary of the Trust and sending the communication to 2220 E. Route 66, Suite 226, Glendora, California 91740. A shareholder communication must (i) be in writing and be signed by the shareholder, (ii) provide contact information for the shareholder, (iii) identify the Fund to which it relates, and (iv) identify the class and number of shares held by the shareholder. The Secretary of the Trust may, in good faith,

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determine that a shareholder communication should not be provided to the Board because it does not reasonably relate to the Trust or its operations, management, activities, policies, service providers, Board, officers, shareholders or other matters relating to an investment in a Fund or is otherwise immaterial in nature. Other shareholder communications received by the Funds not directly addressed and sent to the Board will be reviewed and generally responded to by management, and will be forwarded to the Board only at management’s discretion based on the matters contained therein.

The Declaration of Trust provides that no Trustee or officer of the Trust shall be subject to any personal liability in connection with the assets or affairs of the Trust or any of its series except for losses in connection with his or her willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of his or her duties. The Trust has also entered into an indemnification agreement with each Trustee which provides that the Trust shall advance expenses and indemnify and hold harmless the Trustee in certain circumstances against any expenses incurred by the Trustee in any proceeding arising out of or in connection with the Trustee’s service to the Trust, to the maximum extent permitted by the Delaware Statutory Trust Act, the 1933 Act and the 1940 Act, and which provides for certain procedures in connection with such advancement of expenses and indemnification.

The Trust’s Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust shall maintain appropriate insurance (for example, fidelity bonding and errors and omissions insurance) for the protection of the Trust, its shareholders, trustees, officers, employees and agents covering possible tort and other liabilities.

The Declaration of Trust does not require the issuance of stock certificates. If stock certificates are issued, they must be returned by the registered owners prior to the transfer or redemption of shares represented by such certificates.

Rule 18f-2 under the 1940 Act provides that as to any investment company which has two or more series outstanding and as to any matter required to be submitted to shareholder vote, such matter is not deemed to have been effectively acted upon unless approved by the holders of a “majority” (as defined in the rule) of the voting securities of each series affected by the matter. Such separate voting requirements do not apply to the election of Trustees or the ratification of the selection of accountants. The Rule contains special provisions for cases in which an advisory contract is approved by one or more, but not all, series. A change in investment policy may go into effect as to one or more series whose holders so approve the change even though the required vote is not obtained as to the holders of other affected series.

The Trust and the Advisor have adopted Codes of Ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These codes of ethics permit, subject to certain conditions, personnel of each of these entities to invest in securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Incorporated by reference herein is the Funds’ Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, which includes the “Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm”, “Schedule of Investments”, “Statement of Assets and Liabilities”, “Statement of Operations”, “Statements of Changes in Net Assets”, “Financial Highlights” and “Notes to Financial Statements”. A copy of the Funds’ Annual Report can be obtained at no charge by calling 1-888-660-6610 or writing the Funds.

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APPENDIX A
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

Corporate Bonds (Including Convertible Bonds)

Moody’s

   

Aaa

 

Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, with minimal credit risk.

Aa

 

Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

A

 

Obligations rated A are considered upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.

Baa

 

Obligations rated Baa are subject to moderate credit risk. They are considered medium-grade and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.

Ba

 

Obligations rated Ba are judged to have speculative elements and are subject to substantial credit risk.

B

 

Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.

Caa

 

Obligations rated Caa are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.

Ca

 

Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery.

C

 

Obligations rated C are the lowest rated class of bonds and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

Note

 

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

S&P

   

AAA

 

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

AA

 

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

A

 

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

BBB

 

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

Note

 

Obligations rated BB, B, CCC, CC, and C are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. BB indicates the least degree of speculation and C the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.

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BB

 

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

B

 

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

CCC

 

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

CC

 

An obligation rated CC is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment.

C

 

The C rating may be used to cover a situation where a bankruptcy petition has been filed or similar action has been taken, but payments on this obligation are being continued.

D

 

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

Note

 

Plus (+) or minus (-). The ratings from AA to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus or minus sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories. The “r” symbol is attached to the ratings of instruments with significant noncredit risks. It highlights risks to principal or volatility of expected returns, which are not addressed in the credit rating. Examples include: obligations linked or indexed to equities, currencies, or commodities; obligations exposed to severe prepayment risk-such as interest-only or principal-only mortgage securities; and obligations with unusually risky interest terms, such as inverse floaters.

Preferred Stock

Moody’s

   

Aaa

 

An issue that is rated “Aaa” is considered to be a top-quality preferred stock. This rating indicates good asset protection and the least risk of dividend impairment within the universe of preferred stocks.

Aa

 

An issue that is rated “Aa” is considered a high-grade preferred stock. This rating indicates that there is a reasonable assurance the earnings and asset protection will remain relatively well maintained in the foreseeable future.

A

 

An issue that is rated “A” is considered to be an upper-medium grade preferred stock. While risks are judged to be somewhat greater than in the “Aaa” and “Aa” classification, earnings and asset protection are, nevertheless, expected to be maintained at adequate levels.

Baa

 

An issue that is rated “Baa” is considered to be a medium-grade preferred stock, neither highly protected nor poorly secured. Earnings and asset protection appear adequate at present but may be questionable over any great length of time.

Ba

 

An issue that is rated “Ba” is considered to have speculative elements and its future cannot be considered well assured. Earnings and asset protection may be very moderate and not well safeguarded during adverse periods. Uncertainty of position characterizes preferred stocks in this class.

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B

 

An issue that is rated “B” generally lacks the characteristics of a desirable investment. Assurance of dividend payments and maintenance of other terms of the issue over any long period of time may be small.

Caa

 

An issue that is rated “Caa” is likely to be in arrears on dividend payments. This rating designation does not purport to indicate the future status of payments.

Ca

 

An issue that is rated “Ca” is speculative in a high degree and is likely to be in arrears on dividends with little likelihood of eventual payments.

C

 

This is the lowest rated class of preferred or preference stock. Issues so rated can thus be regarded as having extremely poor prospects of ever attaining any real investment standing.

Note

 

Moody’s applies numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 in each rating classification: the modifier 1 indicates that the security ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking and the modifier 3 indicates that the issue ranks in the lower end of its generic rating category.

S&P

   

AAA

 

This is the highest rating that may be assigned by Standard & Poor’s to a preferred stock issue and indicates an extremely strong capacity to pay the preferred stock obligations.

AA

 

A preferred stock issue rated AA also qualifies as a high-quality, fixed-income security. The capacity to pay preferred stock obligations is very strong, although not as overwhelming as for issues rated AAA.

A

 

An issue rated A is backed by a sound capacity to pay the preferred stock obligations, although it is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions.

BBB

 

An issue rated BBB is regarded as backed by an adequate capacity to pay the preferred stock obligations. Whereas it normally exhibits adequate protection parameters, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make payments for a preferred stock in this category than for issues in the A category.

BB, B, CCC

 

Preferred stock rated BB, B, and CCC is regarded, on balance, as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay preferred stock obligations. BB indicates the lowest degree of speculation and CCC the highest. While such issues will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these are outweighed by large uncertainties or major risk exposures to adverse conditions.

CC

 

The rating CC is reserved for a preferred stock issue that is in arrears on dividends or sinking fund payments, but that is currently paying.

C

 

A preferred stock rated C is a nonpaying issue.

D

 

A preferred stock rated D is a nonpaying issue with the issuer in default on debt instruments.

N.R.

 

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

Note

 

Plus (+) or minus (-). To provide more detailed indications of preferred stock quality, ratings from AA to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus or minus sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

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Short Term Ratings

Moody’s

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

Prime-1

 

Issuers rated Prime-1 (or supporting institutions) have a superior ability for repayment of senior short-term debt obligations. Prime-1 repayment ability will often be evidenced by many of the following characteristics:

   

        Leading market positions in well-established industries.

   

        High rates of return on funds employed.

   

        Conservative capitalization structure with moderate reliance on debt and ample asset protection.

   

        Broad margins in earnings coverage of fixed financial charges and high internal cash generation.

   

        Well-established access to a range of financial markets and assured sources of alternate liquidity.

Prime-2

 

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

Prime-3

 

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

Not Prime

 

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

S&P

   

A-1

 

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

A-2

 

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

A-3

 

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

B

 

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

C

 

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

D

 

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

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APPENDIX B
VAUGHAN NELSON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, L.P.

Description of Proxy Voting Policy and Procedures

Introduction

Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 addresses an investment adviser’s duty with regard to the voting of proxies for clients. Under the rule an adviser must:

a)     Adopt and implement written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to ensure that client securities are voted in the client’s best interest and to address procedures to be undertaken in the event a material conflict arises between the firm’s interest and that of our clients as to how a particular security or proxy issue is voted;

b)     Disclose to clients how they may obtain information regarding how the firm voted with respect to the client’s securities; and

c)     Describe the firm’s policies and procedures to clients and, upon request, furnish a copy of the policies and procedures to the requesting client.

The policy and procedures below have been reasonably designed to ensure proxies are voted in the best interest of our clients, are in compliance with Rule 206(4)-6 and address the areas noted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in Staff Legal Bulletin 20 as well as guidance issued by the SEC in August 2019. Our authority to vote proxies for our clients is established through either the advisory contract (if the contract is silent, implied by the overall delegation of discretionary authority), or our fiduciary responsibility to ERISA clients under Department of Labor regulations.

Policy

The firm undertakes to vote all client proxies in a manner reasonably expected to ensure the client’s best interest is upheld and in a manner that does not subrogate the client’s best interest to that of the firm’s in instances where a material conflict exists or potentially exists. The Proxy Voting Procedures, as described below, are intended to support good corporate governance, including those corporate practices that address environmental, social and governmental issues (“ESG Matters”), in all cases with the objective of protecting shareholder interests and maximizing shareholder value.

The firm has created a proxy voting guideline (the “Guideline”) reasonably believed to be in the best interest of clients relating to common and recurring issues found within proxy voting material. In drafting this guideline, the firm considered the nature of the firm’s business and the types of securities being managed. The firm created the Guideline to help ensure voting consistency on issues common amongst issuers and to help serve as evidence that a vote was not the product of a conflict of interest but rather a vote in accordance with a pre-determined policy.

Conflicts of Interest

The most common conflicts of interest result from a situation involving a business relationship and/or a potential financial benefit to the firm. The firm envisions only rare situations where a conflict of interest would exist or potentially exist between the firm and its clients given the nature of the firm’s business, clients, relationships and the types of securities managed. Notwithstanding, apparent or actual conflicts of interest may arise from time to time. In such instances the firm will undertake to vote such proxies in the continued best interest of clients in accordance with the procedures put in place addressing potential or actual material conflicts.

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A potential conflict may be resolved in either of the following manners:

    If the proposal that gives rise to an actual or potential conflict is specifically addressed in the Guideline, the firm may vote the proxy in accordance with the pre-determined Guideline (provided that the pre-determined Guideline involves little or no discretion on the firm’s part);

    Otherwise, the firm will follow the recommendations of Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), an independent Proxy Advisory Firm (“PAF”), as to how the proxy should be voted. However, if the conflict of interest is a result of ISS’ affiliations or other lines of business, then the firm will take that information into consideration if the firm intends to use the PAF’s research to vote a proxy item that is not addressed in our firm’s recurring Proxy Voting Guideline.

Use and Review of a Proxy Advisory Firm (PAF)

Vaughan Nelson intends to use ISS in a limited capacity to assist the firm with its proxy voting responsibilities. ISS will be used primarily to collect proxy ballots for our clients, provide the firm a platform in which to indicate our vote, provide company research as a point of information to assist our firm with voting and assist our firm in generating proxy voting reports.

ISS will provide updates to Vaughan Nelson in the following instances:

    ISS is required to provide their research/voting advice to the registrants who are the subject of the advice. If a registrant issues a response to the proxy advice, ISS will provide a Proxy Alert (“Alert”) in order for Vaughan Nelson to become aware of a registrant’s views and take such views into account as Vaughan Nelson votes proxies.

    New material, research becomes available or if ISS finds that a report contains a material error, ISS will issue a Proxy Alert (“Alert”) to inform our firm of any corrections and, if necessary, any resulting changes in the vote recommendations. This process ensures ISS clients who received an original research report will also receive the related Alert (attached to the relevant original report). Vaughan Nelson will be able to cancel or change our vote(s) at any time before the cut-off date if we determine that such a change is warranted by the new information.

Given the different business lines of a PAF, there will be instances where the research received from the PAF might be influenced by a conflict of interest resulting from the PAF’s affiliations or other relationships/engagements the PAF has with an issuer. Vaughan Nelson will become informed of these conflicts by:

1)   Periodically obtaining an updated list of the PAF’s affiliates and a list of its significant relationships with publicly traded issuers that are clients. Vaughan Nelson will use these lists along with any available on-line tools made available by the PAF to determine if an upcoming proxy vote may present a conflict of interest for the PAF and take that information into consideration if we intend to use the PAF’s research to vote a proxy item that is not addressed in our firm’s recurring Proxy Voting Guideline.

2)   Obtaining a copy of the PAF’s Code of Ethics and Policies and Procedures (or similar document) to ensure they address the topic of conflicts of interest with their employees and have processes in place to mitigate any issues.

3)   Reviewing for indications of conflict for each proxy to be voted.

Vaughan Nelson will perform a third party service provider review of the PAF on an annual basis to determine whether the PAF: a) has been the subject of any inquiries, subpoenas, investigations or penalties by the SEC or any other regulator; b) has the capacity and competency (i.e. staffing, technology) to adequately analyze matters and provide its services; c) has appropriate disclosure regarding the source of information and methodologies used in formulating recommendations; d) has an effective process for seeking timely input from issuers and clients regarding its voting policies, methodologies, peer group construction, identifying and addressing conflicts of interest; e) has a process to correct material deficiencies in the issuer information or research it has provided.

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Investments in Banking Entities

Vaughan Nelson, as an indirect subsidiary of a Bank Holding Company (Natixis), is restricted from voting the shares it has invested in banking entities on behalf of its clients in instances where the aggregate ownership of all the Bank Holding Company’s investment management subsidiaries exceed 5% of the outstanding voting shares of a bank. Where the aggregate ownership described exceeds the 5% threshold, the firm will instruct Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an independent third party, to vote the proxies in line with ISS’s recommendation.

Limitations

There may be circumstances or situations that may preclude or limit the manner in which proxies are voted. This may include but is not limited to:

    Mutual Funds — where voting may be controlled by restrictions within the fund or the actions of authorized persons

    International Securities — where the perceived benefit of voting an international proxy does not outweigh the anticipated costs of doing so