485BPOS
VICTORY PORTFOLIOS
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
May 1, 2024
FUND NAME
CLASS
A
CLASS
C
CLASS
I
CLASS
R
CLASS
R6
CLASS
Y
MEMBER
CLASS
Global Natural Resources
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory Global Energy Transition Fund
RSNRX
RGNCX
RSNYX
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RS Value
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory RS Partners Fund
RSPFX
RSPKX
RPPRX
RSPYX
RSPMX
Victory RS Value Fund
RSVAX
RVACX
RSVYX
Victory RS Large Cap Alpha Fund
GPAFX
RCOCX
RCEYX
Victory RS Investors Fund
RSINX
RIVCX
RSIYX
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RS Growth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory RS Small Cap Growth Fund
RSEGX
REGWX
RSEJX
RSYEX
Victory RS Select Growth Fund
RSDGX
RSGFX
RSSRX
RSSYX
Victory RS Mid Cap Growth Fund
RSMOX
RMOCX
RMORX
RMOYX
RMOMX
Victory RS Growth Fund
RSGRX
RGWCX
RGRYX
Victory RS Science and Technology Fund
RSIFX
RINCX
RIFYX
Victory RS Small Cap Equity Fund
GPSCX
RSCCX
RSCYX
RSMMX
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RS International
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory RS International Fund
GUBGX
RIGCX
RIGKX
RSIRX
RSIGX
Victory RS Global Fund
RSGGX
RGGCX
RGGKX
RGGRX
RGGYX
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sophus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory Sophus Emerging Markets Fund
GBEMX
REMGX
REMKX
RSERX
RSENX
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fixed Income
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Victory Low Duration Bond Fund
(formerly, Victory INCORE Low Duration
Bond Fund)
RLDAX
RLDCX
RSDYX
Victory High Yield Fund
GUHYX
RHYCX
RHYKX
RSYYX
Victory Tax-Exempt Fund
GUTEX
RETCX
RSTYX
Victory High Income Municipal Bond
Fund
RSHMX
RSHCX
RHMYX
RHMMX
Victory Floating Rate Fund
RSFLX
RSFCX
RSFYX
RSFMX
(each a “Fund” and together, the “Funds”)
Each Fund is a series of Victory Portfolios (the “Trust”)

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with each Fund’s prospectus, dated May 1, 2024, as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time (each, a “Prospectus”). This SAI is incorporated by reference, in its entirety, into each Prospectus. Copies of the Prospectus of each Fund can be obtained without charge upon request made to Victory Funds, P.O. Box 182593, Columbus, Ohio 43218-2593, by calling toll free 800-539-FUND (800-539-3863), 800-235-8396 for Member Class or at VictoryFunds.com.
This SAI incorporates by reference the Funds’ financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, contained in the Funds’ December 31, 2023, Annual Reports to shareholders, including the Financial Highlights and the related reports of Cohen & Company, Ltd., the Funds' independent registered public accounting firm. You may obtain a copy of the Funds’ most recent Annual Reports at no charge by writing to the address or calling the phone number noted above. The Funds’ most recent Annual Reports are also available at no charge at VictoryFunds.com.

GENERAL INFORMATION
The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust (formerly referred to as a “business trust”) on December 6, 1995, as a successor to a company of a similar name organized as a Massachusetts business trust on February 5, 1986. The Trust is an open-end management investment company. The Trust currently consists of 37 series of units of beneficial interest (“shares”). This SAI relates to the shares of 19 series of the Trust (each a "Fund,") and collectively, the "Funds").
Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser” or “Victory Capital”) is the Funds’ investment adviser. Each Fund’s investment objective(s), restrictions and policies are more fully described below and in the Fund’s Prospectus. The Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board” or “Trustees”) may organize and offer shares of a new fund or liquidate a Fund or share class at any time.
Each Fund is an open-end, management investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Funds were formed for the purposes of completing the reorganizations (“Reorganizations”) with 21 corresponding series of the RS Investment Trust, a registered investment company, (“Predecessor Funds” or the “RS Funds”).
For purposes of this SAI, the Victory Global Energy Transition Fund, Victory RS Partners Fund, Victory RS Value Fund, Victory RS Large Cap Alpha Fund, Victory RS Investors Fund, Victory RS Small Cap Growth Fund, Victory RS Select Growth Fund, Victory RS Mid Cap Growth Fund, Victory RS Growth Fund, Victory RS Science and Technology Fund, Victory RS Small Cap Equity Fund, Victory RS International Fund, Victory RS Global Fund, and Victory Sophus Emerging Markets Fund are referred to as the “Equity Funds,” while the Victory Low Duration Bond Fund (formerly, Victory INCORE Low Duration Bond Fund until September 1, 2023), Victory High Yield Fund, Victory Tax-Exempt Fund, Victory High Income Municipal Bond Fund, and Victory Floating Rate Fund are referred to as the “Fixed Income Funds.” The Victory RS International Fund, Victory RS Global Fund, and Victory Sophus Emerging Markets Fund are also referred to as the “International Funds.”
Much of the information contained in this SAI expands on subjects discussed in each Fund’s Prospectus. Capitalized terms not defined herein are used as defined in the Prospectuses. No investment in shares of a Fund should be made without first reading that Fund’s Prospectus.
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, POLICIES, AND LIMITATIONS
Investment Objectives
Each Fund’s investment objective is non-fundamental, meaning it may be changed by a vote of the Trustees without a vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective.
Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds
Unless a policy of a Fund is expressly deemed to be a fundamental policy, changeable only by an affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of that Fund’s outstanding voting securities, the Fund’s policies are non-fundamental and may be changed without a shareholder vote.
A Fund may, following notice to its shareholders, employ other investment practices that presently are not contemplated for use by the Fund or that currently are not available but that may be developed to the extent such investment practices are both consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and legally permissible for the Fund. Such investment practices, if they arise, may involve risks that exceed those involved in the activities described in the Fund’s Prospectus.
A Fund’s classification and sub-classification is a matter of fundamental policy. Each Fund is classified as an open-end investment company. Each Fund, except the Victory RS Investors Fund and the Victory Global Energy Transition Fund, is sub-classified as a diversified investment company, which under the 1940 Act means that, with respect to 75% of a Fund’s total assets, the Fund may not invest in securities of any issuer if, immediately after such investment, (i) more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund (taken at current value) would be invested in the securities of that issuer or (ii) more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer would be held by the Fund (this limitation does not apply to obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, and securities of other investment companies). A diversified fund is not subject to this limitation with respect to the remaining 25% of its total assets. In addition, each Fund has elected to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). To qualify as a regulated investment company, the Funds must meet certain diversification requirements as determined at the close of each quarter of each taxable year. The Code’s diversification test is described in “TAXES.”
As “non-diversified” funds, the Victory RS Investors Fund and Victory Global Energy Transition Fund may each invest a greater portion of its assets in securities of a single issuer or a limited number of issuers than a diversified fund.
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The policies and limitations stated in this SAI supplement the Funds’ investment policies set forth in each Fund’s Prospectus. Unless otherwise noted, whenever an investment policy or limitation states a maximum percentage of a Fund’s assets that may be invested in any security or other asset, or sets forth a policy regarding quality standards, such standard or percentage limitation will be determined immediately after and as a result of the Fund’s acquisition of such security or other asset except in the case of borrowing (or other activities that may be deemed to result in the issuance of a “senior security” under the 1940 Act). Accordingly, any subsequent change in values, net assets, or other circumstances will not be considered when determining whether the investment complies with a Fund’s investment policies and limitations. If the value of a Fund’s holdings of illiquid investments at any time exceeds the percentage limitation applicable at the time of acquisition due to subsequent fluctuations in value or other reasons, the Board will consider what actions, if any, are appropriate to maintain adequate liquidity.
Fundamental Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds
The following investment policies and limitations are fundamental and may not be changed without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities, as defined under the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund means the affirmative vote of the lesser of (a) 67% or more of the shares of the Fund present at a meeting at which the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are represented in person or by proxy, or (b) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund. Portions of the Funds’ fundamental investment restrictions (e.g., references to “except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction”) provide the Funds with flexibility to change limitations in connection with changes in applicable law, rules, regulations or exemptive relief. The language used in these restrictions provides the necessary flexibility to allow the Board to respond efficiently to these kinds of developments without the delay and expense of a shareholder meeting.
Senior Securities
None of the Funds may issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction.
Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act permits a Fund to enter into Derivatives Transactions (as defined below) and certain other transactions notwithstanding the restrictions on the issuance of “senior securities” under Section 18 of the 1940 Act. Section 18 of the 1940 Act, among other things, prohibits open-end funds, including the Funds, from issuing or selling any “senior security,” other than borrowing from a bank (subject to a requirement to maintain 300% “asset coverage”).
Under Rule 18f-4, “Derivatives Transactions” include the following: (1) any swap, security-based swap (including a contract for differences), futures contract, forward contract, option (excluding purchased options), any combination of the foregoing, or any similar instrument, under which the Fund is or may be required to make any payment or delivery of cash or other assets during the life of the instrument or at maturity or early termination, whether as margin or settlement payment or otherwise; (2) any short sale borrowing; (3) reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions (e.g., recourse and non-recourse tender option bonds, and borrowed bonds), if the Fund elects to treat these transactions as Derivatives Transactions under Rule 18f-4; and (4) when-issued or forward-settling securities (e.g., firm and standby commitments, including to-be-announced (“TBA”) commitments, and dollar rolls) and non-standard settlement cycle securities, unless a Fund intends to physically settle the transaction and the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date.
Unless a Fund is relying on the Limited Derivatives User Exception (as defined below), a Fund must comply with Rule 18f-4 with respect to its Derivatives Transactions. Rule 18f-4, among other things, requires the Funds to adopt and implement a comprehensive written derivatives risk management program (“DRMP”) and comply with a relative or absolute limit on Fund leverage risk calculated based on value-at-risk (“VaR”). The DRMP is administered by a “derivatives risk manager,” who is appointed by the Board, including a majority of Independent Trustees, and periodically reviews the DRMP and reports to the Board.
Rule 18f-4 provides an exception from the DRMP, VaR limit and certain other requirements if the Fund’s “derivatives exposure” (as defined in Rule 18f-4) is limited to 10% of its net assets (as calculated in accordance with Rule 18f-4) and the Fund adopts and implements written policies and procedures reasonably designed to manage its derivatives risks (the “Limited Derivatives User Exception”). As of the date of this SAI, each Fund, except for the Victory Low Duration Bond Fund and the Victory Floating Rate Fund, relies on the Limited Derivatives User Exception.
Underwriting
None of the Funds may underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that a Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), in the disposition of restricted securities.
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Borrowing
None of the Funds may borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, or by order of the SEC and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction.
A Fund’s ability to borrow money is limited by its investment policies and limitations, by the 1940 Act, and by applicable exemptions, no action letters, interpretations, and other pronouncements issued from time to time by regulatory authorities, including the SEC and its staff. Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage (that is, total assets including the proceeds of borrowings, less liabilities excluding borrowings) of not less than 300% of the amount borrowed, with an exception for borrowings not in excess of 5% of the Fund’s total assets made for temporary purposes. Any borrowings for temporary purposes in excess of 5% are subject to the minimum 300% asset coverage requirement. If the value of the assets set aside to meet the 300% asset coverage were to decline below 300% due to market fluctuations or other causes, a Fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio holdings within three days (excluding Sundays and holidays) to reduce the debt and comply with the 300% minimum asset coverage requirement, even in circumstances where it is considered disadvantageous from an investment perspective to sell securities at that time or at the prices then available.
Real Estate
None of the Funds may purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of direct ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction shall not prevent any of these Funds from investing in the following: (i) securities or other instruments backed by real estate; (ii) securities of real estate operating companies; or (iii) securities of companies engaged in the real estate business, including real estate investment trusts. This restriction does not preclude any of these Funds from buying securities backed by mortgages on real estate or securities of companies engaged in such activities.
Lending
None of the Funds may make loans, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction.
Generally, the 1940 Act prohibits loans if a fund’s investment policies do not permit loans, and if the loans are made, directly or indirectly, to persons deemed to control or to be under common control with the registered investment company.
Commodities
None of the Funds may purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent a Fund from purchasing or selling options, futures contracts or other derivatives instruments, or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).
Diversification
Each Fund, except the Victory RS Investors Fund and the Victory Global Energy Transition Fund, is a diversified investment company. The Victory RS Investors Fund and the Victory Global Energy Transition Fund are each a non-diversified fund.
Under the 1940 Act a fund’s sub-categorization as a diversified fund is a fundamental policy. Diversified under the 1940 Act is defined to mean that the fund may not (as to 75% of the fund’s total assets) purchase any security (other than obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities and securities of other investment companies) if as a result (i) more than 5% of the fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would then be invested in securities of a single issuer or (ii) more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of that issuer would be held by the fund.
Concentration
None of the Funds, except the Victory Global Energy Transition Fund and the Victory RS Science and Technology Fund, may concentrate its investments in a particular industry, as the term “concentration” is used in the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction. For purposes of the 1940 Act, “concentration” means investing more than 25% of a Fund’s net assets in a particular industry or a specified group of industries.
The Victory Global Energy Transition Fund will concentrate its investments in any one or more natural resources industries, as described in the Fund’s Prospectus from time to time. The Victory RS Science and Technology Fund will concentrate its investments in any one or more science and/or technology industries, as described in the Fund’s Prospectus from time to time.
For purposes of the Funds’ fundamental policy on concentration, (1) loan participations will be considered investments in the industry of the underlying borrower, rather than that of the seller of the loan participation, (2) municipal obligations, excluding private activity municipal debts securities, are not considered a separate industry; private activity municipal debt securities whose principal and interest
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payments are derived principally from the assets and revenues of a non-governmental entity will be assigned to the industry related to such non-governmental entity,  and (3) for purposes of calculating concentration of investments in the utility and finance categories, each Fund will operate as follows: neither finance companies as a group nor utility companies as a group are considered a single industry for purposes of the Fund’s concentration policy (i.e., finance companies will be considered a part of the industry they finance and utilities will be divided according to the types of services they provide).
Additional Fundamental Policies for the Victory Tax-Exempt Fund and the Victory High Income Municipal Bond Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, under normal circumstances at least 80% of the value of (1) the Victory Tax-Exempt Fund’s net assets will be invested in tax-exempt municipal obligations, and (2) the Victory High Income Municipal Bond Fund’s net assets will be invested in tax-exempt municipal obligations (which may include obligations that pay interest subject to the AMT).
Non-Fundamental Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds
The following investment restrictions are non-fundamental and may be changed by a vote of a majority of the Trustees.
Illiquid Investments
No Fund may invest more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments.
Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act (the “Liquidity Rule”) requires the Funds to establish a liquidity risk management program. The Liquidity Rule defines “illiquid investment” as any investment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Such investments include, but are not limited to, time deposits and repurchase agreements with maturities longer than seven days. Investments that may be resold under the Liquidity Rule, investments offered pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act, or investments otherwise subject to restrictions or limitations on resale under the Securities Act shall not be deemed illiquid solely by reason of being unregistered. Victory Capital, under oversight of the Board, determines whether a particular investment is deemed to be liquid based on the trading markets for the specific investment and other factors.
INVESTMENT PRACTICES, INSTRUMENTS, AND RISKS
In addition to the principal investment strategies and the principal risks of the Funds described in the Prospectus, each Fund may, but will not necessarily, employ other investment practices and may be subject to additional risks which are described further below. Because the following is a combined description of investment strategies and risks for all of the Funds, certain strategies and/or risks described below may not apply to your Fund. Unless a strategy or policy described below is specifically prohibited with respect to a particular Fund by the investment restrictions listed in the Prospectus, under “Investment Objectives, Policies, and Limitations of the Funds” in this SAI, or by applicable law, a Fund may, but will not necessarily, engage in each of the practices described below.
Victory Capital serves as investment adviser to the Funds. Victory Capital and a Fund’s sub-adviser, if applicable, are each referred to in this section as an “Adviser.”
Equity Securities
Equity securities represent ownership interests in a company or partnership and consist of common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants to acquire common stock, securities convertible into common stock, and investments in master limited partnerships (“MLPs”). Investments in equity securities in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities in which a Fund invests will cause the net asset value of a Fund to fluctuate. A Fund may purchase equity securities traded in the United States on registered exchanges or the over-the-counter market. Among other types of securities described further below, equity securities include:
Common stocks represent an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds and preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.
Preferred stocks combine qualities both of equity and debt securities. Individual issues of preferred stock will have those rights and liabilities that are spelled out in the governing document. Preferred stocks usually pay a fixed dividend per quarter (or annum) and are senior to common stock in terms of liquidation and dividend rights and preferred stocks typically do not have voting rights.
Warrants give a Fund the right to purchase equity securities from the issuer at a specific price (the strike price) for a limited period of time. The strike price of warrants typically is much lower than the current market price of the underlying securities, yet warrants are subject to greater price fluctuations. As a result, warrants may be more volatile investments than the underlying securities and may offer greater potential for capital appreciation as well as capital loss.
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Unlike bondholders, who have preference to a company's earnings and cash flow, preferred stockholders, followed by common stockholders in order of priority, are entitled only to the residual amount after a company meets its other obligations. For this reason, the value of a company's stock will usually react more strongly to actual or perceived changes in the company's financial condition or prospects than its debt obligations. Stockholders of a company that fares poorly can lose money.
Stock markets tend to move in cycles with short or extended periods of rising and falling stock prices. The value of a company's stock may fall because of, among other reasons: factors that directly relate to that company, such as decisions made by its management or lower demand for the company's products or services; factors affecting an entire industry, such as increases in production costs; and changes in general financial market conditions that are relatively unrelated to the company or its industry, such as changes in interest rates, currency exchange rates or inflation rates. Because preferred stock is generally junior to debt securities and other obligations of the issuer, deterioration in the credit quality of the issuer will cause greater changes in the value of a preferred stock than in a more senior debt security with similar stated yield characteristics.
Derivatives
A Fund may enter into derivatives transactions for a variety of purposes, including, but not limited to: hedging risks; taking a net long or short position in certain investments or markets; providing liquidity in the Fund; equitizing cash; minimizing transaction costs; generating income; adjusting a Fund’s sensitivity to risk; replicating certain direct investments; and asset and sector allocation.
The use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that can involve investment techniques and risks different from, and in some respects greater than, those associated with investing in more traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Derivatives may have a return that is tied to a formula based upon an interest rate, index or other measurement, which may differ from the return of a simple security of the same maturity. A formula may have a cap or other limitation on the rate of interest to be paid. Derivatives may have varying degrees of volatility at different times, or under different market conditions, may perform in unanticipated ways, and may create leverage, which may amplify gains or losses.
Rule 18f-4 regulates the use of derivatives for certain funds registered under the 1940 Act. Unless a Fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” Rule 18f-4 requires, among other things, that the Funds establish a comprehensive derivatives risk management program, to comply with certain value-at-risk based leverage limits, to appoint a derivatives risk manager and to provide additional disclosure both publicly and to the SEC regarding its derivatives positions. Rule 18f-4 also has eliminated the general asset segregation requirement in connection with certain derivatives transactions, in light of Rule 18f-4’s requirements for funds to establish and maintain derivatives risk management programs that comply with certain risk-based limits. For Funds that qualify as limited derivatives users, Rule 18f-4 requires policies and procedures to manage aggregate derivatives risk. These requirements could have an impact on a Fund, including a potential increase in cost to enter into derivatives transactions. The full impact of Rule 18f-4 on the Funds, however, remains uncertain.
Options. A Fund may purchase and sell put and call options on its portfolio securities to enhance investment performance and to protect against changes in market prices. There is no assurance that a Fund’s use of put and call options will achieve its desired objective, and a Fund’s use of options may result in losses to the Fund.
Covered call options. A Fund may write covered call options (as defined below) on its securities to realize a greater current return through the receipt of premiums than it would realize on its securities alone. Such option transactions may also be used as a limited form of hedging against a decline in the price of securities owned by the Fund.
A call option gives the holder the right to purchase, and obligates the writer to sell, a security at the exercise price at any time before the expiration date. A call option is “covered” if the writer, at all times while obligated as a writer, either owns the underlying securities (or comparable securities satisfying the cover requirements of the securities exchanges), or has the right to acquire such securities through immediate conversion of securities.
A Fund will receive a premium from writing a call option, which increases the Fund’s return on the underlying security in the event the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a profit. The amount of the premium reflects, among other things, the relationship between the exercise price and the current market value of the underlying security, the volatility of the underlying security, the amount of time remaining until expiration, current interest rates, and the effect of supply and demand in the options market and in the market for the underlying security.
In return for the premium received when it writes a covered call option, a Fund gives up some or all of the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the securities covering the call option during the life of the option. The Fund retains the risk of loss should the price of such securities decline. If the option expires unexercised, the Fund realizes a gain equal to the premium, which may be offset by a decline in price of the underlying security. If the option is exercised, the Fund realizes a gain or loss equal to the difference between the Fund’s cost for the underlying security and the proceeds of sale (exercise price minus commissions) plus the amount of the premium.
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A Fund may terminate a call option that it has written before it expires by entering into a closing purchase transaction. A Fund may enter into closing purchase transactions in order to free itself to sell the underlying security or to write another call on the security, realize a profit on a previously written call option, or protect a security from being called in an unexpected market rise. Any profits from a closing purchase transaction may be offset by a decline in the value of the underlying security. Conversely, because increases in the market price of a call option will generally reflect increases in the market price of the underlying security, any loss resulting from a closing purchase transaction is likely to be offset in whole or in part by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security owned by the Fund.
Covered put options. A Fund may write covered put options in order to enhance its current return. Such options transactions may also be used as a limited form of hedging against an increase in the price of securities that the Fund plans to purchase. A put option gives the holder the right to sell, and obligates the writer to buy, a security at the exercise price at any time before the expiration date. A put option may be “covered” if the writer earmarks or otherwise segregates liquid assets equal to the price to be paid if the option is exercised minus margin on deposit.
In addition to the receipt of premiums and the potential gains from terminating such options in closing purchase transactions, a Fund also receives interest on the cash and debt securities maintained to cover the exercise price of the option. By writing a put option, the Fund assumes the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying security for an exercise price higher than its then current market value, resulting in a potential capital loss unless the security later appreciates in value.
A Fund may terminate a put option that it has written before it expires by entering into a closing purchase transaction. Any loss from this transaction may be partially or entirely offset by the premium received on the terminated option.
Purchasing put and call options. A Fund may also purchase put options to protect portfolio holdings against a decline in market value. This protection lasts for the life of the put option because the Fund, as a holder of the option, may sell the underlying security at the exercise price regardless of any decline in its market price. In order for a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs that the Fund must pay. These costs will reduce any profit the Fund might have realized had it sold the underlying security instead of buying the put option.
A Fund may purchase call options to hedge against an increase in the price of securities that the Fund wants ultimately to buy. Such hedge protection is provided during the life of the call option since the Fund, as holder of the call option, is able to buy the underlying security at the exercise price regardless of any increase in the underlying security’s market price. In order for a call option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must rise sufficiently above the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs. These costs will reduce any profit the Fund might have realized had it bought the underlying security at the time it purchased the call option.
A Fund may also purchase put and call options to attempt to enhance its current return.
Options on foreign securities. It is expected that risks related to options on foreign securities will not differ materially from risks related to options on U.S. securities. However, position limits and other rules of foreign exchanges may differ from those in the United States. In addition, options markets in some countries, many of which are relatively new, may be less liquid than comparable markets in the United States.
Options on securities indices. Index options are similar to options on individual securities in that the purchaser of an index option acquires the right to buy (in the case of a call) or sell (in the case of a put), and the writer undertakes the obligation to sell or buy (as the case may be), units of an index at a stated exercise price during the term of the option. Instead of giving the right to take or make actual delivery of securities, the holder of an index option has the right to receive a cash “exercise settlement amount.” This amount is equal to the amount by which the fixed exercise price of the option exceeds (in the case of a put) or is less than (in the case of a call) the closing value of the underlying index on the date of the exercise, multiplied by a fixed “index multiplier.”
Price movements in securities which a Fund owns or intends to purchase probably will not correlate perfectly with movements in the level of a securities index and, therefore, a Fund bears the risk of a loss on a securities index option which is not completely offset by movements in the price of such securities. Because securities index options are settled in cash, a call writer cannot determine the amount of its settlement obligations in advance and, unlike call writing on a specific security, cannot provide in advance for, or cover, its potential settlement obligations by acquiring and holding underlying securities. A Fund may, however, cover call options written on a securities index by holding a mix of securities which substantially replicate the movement of the index or by holding a call option on the securities index with an exercise price no higher than the call option sold.
A Fund may purchase or sell options on stock indices in order to close out its outstanding positions in options on stock indices which it has purchased. A Fund may also allow such options to expire unexercised.
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Compared to the purchase or sale of futures contracts, the purchase of call or put options on an index involves less potential risk to a Fund because the maximum amount at risk is the premium paid for the options plus transactions costs. The writing of a put or call option on an index involves risks similar to those risks relating to the purchase or sale of index futures contracts.
Risks involved in the sale of options. The successful use of a Fund’s options strategies depends on the ability of an Adviser to forecast correctly interest rate and market movements. For example, if a Fund were to write a call option based on an Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would fall, but the price were to rise instead, the Fund could be required to sell the security upon exercise at a price below the current market price. Similarly, if a Fund were to write a put option based on an Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would rise, but the price were to fall instead, the Fund could be required to purchase the security upon exercise at a price higher than the current market price.
When a Fund purchases an option, it runs the risk that it will lose its entire investment in the option in a relatively short period of time, unless the Fund exercises the option or enters into a closing sale transaction before the option’s expiration. If the price of the underlying security does not rise (in the case of a call) or fall (in the case of a put) to an extent sufficient to cover the option premium and transaction costs, the Fund will lose part or all of its investment in the option. This contrasts with an investment by a Fund in the underlying security, since the Fund will not realize a loss if the security’s price does not change.
The effective use of options also depends on a Fund’s ability to terminate option positions. There is no assurance that a Fund will be able to effect closing transactions at any particular time or at an acceptable price.
If a secondary market in options were to become unavailable, a Fund could no longer engage in closing transactions. Lack of investor interest might adversely affect the liquidity of the market for particular options or series of options. A market may discontinue trading of a particular option or options generally. In addition, a market could become temporarily unavailable if unusual events — such as volume in excess of trading or clearing capability — were to interrupt its normal operations.
A market may at times find it necessary to impose restrictions on particular types of options transactions, such as opening transactions. For example, if an underlying security ceases to meet qualifications imposed by the market or the Options Clearing Corporation, new series of options on that security will no longer be opened to replace expiring series, and opening transactions in existing series may be prohibited. If an options market were to become unavailable, a Fund as a holder of an option would be able to realize profits or limit losses only by exercising the option, and the Fund, as option writer, would remain obligated under the option until expiration or exercise.
Disruptions in the markets for the securities underlying options purchased or sold by a Fund could result in losses on the options. If trading is interrupted in an underlying security, the trading of options on that security is normally halted as well. As a result, a Fund as purchaser or writer of an option will be unable to close out its positions until options trading resumes, and it may be faced with considerable losses if trading in the security reopens at a substantially different price. In addition, the Options Clearing Corporation or other options markets may impose exercise restrictions. If a prohibition on exercise is imposed at the time when trading in the option has also been halted, a Fund as purchaser or writer of an option will be locked into its position until one of the two restrictions has been lifted. If the Options Clearing Corporation were to determine that the available supply of an underlying security appears insufficient to permit delivery by the writers of all outstanding calls in the event of exercise, it may prohibit indefinitely the exercise of put options. A Fund, as holder of such a put option, could lose its entire investment if the prohibition remained in effect until the put option’s expiration.
Foreign-traded options are subject to many of the same risks presented by internationally traded securities. In addition, because of time differences between the United States and various foreign countries, and because different holidays are observed in different countries, foreign options markets may be open for trading during hours or on days when U.S. markets are closed. As a result, option premiums may not reflect the current prices of the underlying interest in the United States.
Over-the-counter (“OTC”) options purchased by a Fund and assets held to cover OTC options written by a Fund may, under certain circumstances, be considered illiquid securities for purposes of any limitation on the Fund’s ability to invest in illiquid investments.
Special Expiration Price Options. A Fund may purchase OTC puts and calls with respect to specified securities (“special expiration price options”) pursuant to which the Funds in effect may create a custom index relating to a particular industry or sector that an Adviser believes will increase or decrease in value generally as a group. In exchange for a premium, the counterparty, whose performance is guaranteed by a broker-dealer, agrees to purchase (or sell) a specified number of shares of a particular stock at a specified price and further agrees to cancel the option at a specified price that decreases straight line over the term of the option. Thus, the value of the special expiration price option is comprised of the market value of the applicable underlying security relative to the option exercise price and the value of the remaining premium. If the value of the underlying security increases (or decreases) by a prenegotiated amount, however, the special expiration price option is canceled and becomes worthless. A portion of the dividends during the term of the option are applied to reduce the exercise price if the options are exercised. Brokerage commissions and other transaction costs
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will reduce these Funds’ profits if the special expiration price options are exercised. A Fund will not purchase special expiration price options with respect to more than 25% of the value of its net assets, and will limit premiums paid for such options in accordance with state securities laws.
Swap Contracts
Credit Swaps. The Fixed Income Funds may invest in credit default swaps and credit default index investments. Credit derivatives allow a Fund to manage credit risk through buying and selling credit protection on specific issuers or a basket of issuers. In a credit default swap, one party pays, in effect, an insurance premium through a stream of payments to another party in exchange for the right to receive a specified return in the event of default (or similar events) by one or more third parties, such as a U.S. or foreign issuer or basket of such issuers, on their obligations. For example, as a purchaser of protection in a credit default swap, a Fund may pay a premium in return for the right to put specified bonds or loans to the counterparty upon issuer default (or similar events) at their par (or other agreed-upon) value. As a purchaser in a credit default swap, a Fund would have the risk that the investment might expire worthless. It also would involve counterparty risk — the risk that the counterparty may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the Fund in the event of a default (or similar event). In addition, as a purchaser in a credit default swap, the Fund’s investment would only generate income in the event of an actual default (or similar event) by the issuer of the underlying obligation. As a seller of protection in a credit default swap, a Fund would in effect take a long position in the underlying security since it would be obligated to purchase the security from its counterparty upon issuer default or similar events.
In addition, the Fixed Income Funds may enter into interest rate swaps. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange between two parties of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest. For example, the Fund may agree with a counterparty to pay a fixed rate (multiplied by a notional amount) and the counterparty pay a floating rate multiplied by the same notional amount. Interest rate swaps can take a variety of other forms, such as agreements to pay the net differences between two different interest indexes or rates, even if the parties do not own the underlying instruments. The function of interest rate swaps generally is to increase or decrease a Fund’s exposure to long or short-term interest rates. For example, a Fund may enter into an interest rate swap transaction to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or a portion of its portfolio or to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date.
Fixed Income Total Return Swaps. The Fixed Income Funds may enter into total return swaps. Generally, a total return swap is an agreement between two parties, pursuant to which one pays (and the other receives) an amount equal to the total return of an underlying reference asset in exchange for a regular payment, at a fixed or floating rate or the total rate of return of another financial instrument. The payment amount typically includes, among other things, income and capital gains distributions, principal repayment, or credit losses. Underlying reference assets typically include, among other things, a note, bond, or a securities index. A Fund may take either side in a total return swap. That is, a Fund may receive or pay the total return on the underlying reference asset. A fixed income total return swap may be written on many different kinds of underlying reference assets, and may include different indices for various kinds of debt securities (for example, U.S. investment-grade bonds, high yield bonds, or emerging market bonds). A fixed income total return swap is similar to other kinds of swaps, such as interest rate swaps involving payment streams that are exchanged between a fund and the counterparty.
Futures Contracts. A Fund may enter into interest rate futures contracts and securities index futures contracts (collectively referred to as “financial futures contracts”) for hedging or other purposes. Interest rate futures contracts obligate the long or short holder to take or make delivery of a specified quantity of a financial instrument during a specified future period at a specified price. Securities index futures contracts, which are contracts to buy or sell units of a securities index at a specified future date at a price agreed upon when the contract is made, are similar in economic effect, but they are based on a specific index of securities (rather than on specified securities) and are settled in cash.
The following example illustrates generally the manner in which index futures contracts operate. The Standard & Poor’s 100 Stock Index (the “S&P 100 Index”) is composed of 100 selected common stocks, most of which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). The S&P 100 Index assigns relative weightings to the common stocks included in the Index, and the Index fluctuates with changes in the market values of those common stocks. In the case of the S&P 100 Index, contracts are to buy or sell 100 units. Thus, if the value of the S&P 100 Index were $180, one contract would be worth $18,000 (100 units x $180). The stock index futures contract specifies that no delivery of the actual stocks making up the index will take place. Instead, settlement in cash must occur upon the termination of the contract, with the settlement being the difference between the contract price and the actual level of the stock index at the expiration of the contract. For example, if a Fund enters into a futures contract to buy 100 units of the S&P 100 Index at a specified future date at a contract price of $180 and the S&P 100 Index is at $184 on that future date, the Fund will gain $400 (100 units x gain of $4). If the Fund enters into a futures contract to sell 100 units of the stock index at a specified future date at a contract price of $180 and the S&P 100 Index is at $182 on that future date, the Fund will lose $200 (100 units x loss of $2).
Positions in index futures may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade which provides a secondary market for such futures.
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There are special risks associated with entering into financial futures contracts. The skills needed to use financial futures contracts effectively are different from those needed to select a Fund’s investments. There may be an imperfect correlation between the price movements of financial futures contracts and the price movements of the securities in which a Fund invests. There is also a risk that a Fund will be unable to close a futures position when desired because there is no liquid secondary market for it.
The risk of loss in trading financial futures can be substantial due to the low margin deposits required and the extremely high degree of leverage involved in futures pricing. Relatively small price movements in a financial futures contract could have an immediate and substantial impact, which may be favorable or unfavorable to a Fund. It is possible for a price-related loss to exceed the amount of a Fund’s margin deposit.
Although some financial futures contracts by their terms call for the actual delivery or acquisition of securities at expiration, in most cases the contractual commitment is closed out before expiration. The offsetting of a contractual obligation is accomplished by purchasing (or selling as the case may be) on a commodities or futures exchange an identical financial futures contract calling for delivery in the same month. Such a transaction, if effected through a member of an exchange, cancels the obligation to make or take delivery of the securities. A Fund will incur brokerage fees when it purchases or sells financial futures contracts, and will be required to maintain margin deposits. If a liquid secondary market does not exist when a Fund wishes to close out a financial futures contract, it will not be able to do so and will continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin in the event of adverse price movements.
Margin Payments. When a Fund purchases or sells a futures contract, it is required to deposit with its futures commission merchant or other clearing broker an amount of cash, U.S. Treasury Bills, or other permissible collateral equal to a small percentage of the amount of the futures contract. This amount is known as “initial margin.” The nature of initial margin is different from that of margin in security transactions in that it does not involve borrowing money to finance transactions. Rather, initial margin is similar to a performance bond or good faith deposit that is returned to a Fund upon termination of the contract, assuming the Fund satisfies its contractual obligations.
Subsequent payments are received or made by a Fund, depending on the daily fluctuations in the values of the contract, in a process known as “marking to market.” These payments are called “variation margin.” For example, when a Fund sells a futures contract and the price of the underlying index rises above the delivery price, the Fund’s position declines in value. The Fund then pays the broker a variation margin payment equal to the difference between the delivery price of the futures contract and the value of the index underlying the futures contract. Conversely, if the price of the underlying index falls below the delivery price of the contract, the Fund’s futures position increases in value. The broker then must make a variation margin payment equal to the difference between the delivery price of the futures contract and the value of the index underlying the futures contract.
When a Fund terminates a position in a futures contract, a final determination of variation margin is made, additional cash is paid by or to the Fund, and the Fund realizes a loss or a gain. Such closing transactions involve additional commission costs.
Options on Financial Futures Contracts. A Fund may purchase and write call and put options on financial futures contracts. An option on a financial futures contract gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in an index futures contract (a long position if the option is a call and a short position if the option is a put) at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise of the option, the holder would assume the underlying futures position and would receive a variation margin payment of cash or securities approximating the increase in the value of the holder’s option position. If an option is exercised on the last trading day prior to the expiration date of the option, the settlement will be made entirely in cash based on the difference between the exercise price of the option and the closing level of the index on which the futures contract is based on the expiration date. Purchasers of options who fail to exercise their options prior to the exercise date suffer a loss of the premium paid.
Special Risks of Transactions in Futures Contracts and Related Options. Financial futures contracts entail risks. If an Adviser’s judgment about the general direction of interest rates or markets is wrong, the Fund’s overall performance may be poorer than if no financial futures contracts had been entered into. For example, in some cases, securities called for by a financial futures contract may not have been issued at the time the contract was written. In addition, the market prices of financial futures contracts may be affected by certain factors.
Liquidity Risks. Positions in futures contracts may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade which provides a secondary market for such futures. Although the Funds intend to purchase or sell futures only on exchanges or boards of trade where there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange or board of trade will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. If there is not a liquid secondary market at a particular time, it may not be possible to close a futures position at such time and, in the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin. However, in the event financial futures are used to hedge portfolio securities, such securities will not generally be sold until the financial futures can be terminated. In such circumstances, an increase in the price of the portfolio securities, if any, may partially or completely offset losses on the financial futures.
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The ability to establish and close out positions in options on futures contracts will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid secondary market. It is not certain that such a market will develop. Although a Fund generally will purchase only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option or at any particular time. In the event no such market exists for particular options, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in such options, with the result that a Fund would have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit.
Hedging Risks. There are several risks in connection with the use by a Fund of futures contracts and related options as a hedging device. One risk arises because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the futures contracts and options and movements in the underlying securities or index or movements in the prices of a Fund’s securities which are the subject of a hedge. This risk may be reduced by purchasing and selling, to the extent possible, futures contracts and related options on securities and indexes the movements of which will generally correlate closely with movements in the prices of the underlying securities or index and the Fund’s portfolio securities sought to be hedged.
Successful use of futures contracts and options by a Fund for hedging purposes is also subject to an Adviser’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of the market. It is possible that, where a Fund has purchased puts on futures contracts to hedge its portfolio against a decline in the market, the securities or index on which the puts are purchased may increase in value and the value of securities held in the portfolio may decline. If this occurred, the Fund would lose money on the puts and also experience a decline in the value of its portfolio securities. In addition, the prices of futures, for a number of reasons, may not correlate perfectly with movements in the underlying securities or index due to certain market distortions. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to margin deposit requirements. Such requirements may cause investors to close futures contracts through offsetting transactions which could distort the normal relationship between the underlying security or index and futures markets. Second, the margin requirements in the futures markets are less onerous than margin requirements in the securities markets in general, and as a result the futures markets may attract more speculators than the securities markets do. Increased participation by speculators in the futures markets may also cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortion, even a correct forecast of general market trends by an Adviser still may not result in a successful hedging transaction over a very short time period.
Other Risks. A Fund will incur brokerage fees in connection with its futures and options transactions. In addition, while futures contracts and options on futures will be purchased and sold to reduce certain risks, those transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, while a Fund may benefit from the use of futures and related options, unanticipated changes in interest rates or stock price movements may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. Moreover, in the event of an imperfect correlation between the futures position and the portfolio position that is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to risk of loss.
The risks associated with purchasing and writing put and call options on financial futures contracts can be influenced by the market for financial futures contracts. An increase in the market value of a financial futures contract on which the Fund has written an option may cause the option to be exercised. In this situation, the benefit to a Fund would be limited to the value of the exercise price of the option and, if a Fund closes out the option, the cost of entering into the offsetting transaction could exceed the premium the Fund initially received for writing the option. In addition, a Fund’s ability to enter into an offsetting transaction depends upon the market’s demand for such financial futures contracts. If a purchased option expires unexercised, a Fund would realize a loss in the amount of the premium paid for the option.
Each Fund has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) pursuant to Rule 4.5 under the CEA (the “exclusion”) promulgated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”). Accordingly, neither the Funds nor the Adviser (with respect to the Funds) is subject to registration or regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the CEA. Each Fund’s ability to invest in certain financial instruments regulated under the CEA (“commodity interests”) (including, but not limited to, futures and swaps on broad-based securities indexes and interest rates) is limited by the Adviser’s intention to operate the Fund in a manner that would permit the Fund to continue to claim the exclusion under Rule 4.5, which may adversely affect the Fund’s total return. In the event a Fund becomes unable to rely on the exclusion in Rule 4.5 and the Adviser is required to register with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator with respect to a Fund, the Fund’s expenses may increase, adversely affecting that Fund’s total return.
Congress, various exchanges and regulatory and self-regulatory authorities have undertaken reviews of options and futures trading in light of market volatility. Among the actions that have been taken or proposed to be taken are new limits and reporting requirements for speculative positions, particularly in the energy markets, new or more stringent daily price fluctuation limits for futures and options transactions, and increased margin requirements for various types of futures transactions. Additional measures are under active consideration and as a result there may be further actions that adversely affect the regulation of the instruments in which the Funds invest.
Foreign Currency Transactions. A Fund may engage in currency exchange transactions to protect against uncertainty in the level of future foreign currency exchange rates and to increase current return.
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There can be no assurance that appropriate foreign currency transactions will be available for a Fund at any time or that a Fund will enter into such transactions at any time or under any circumstances even if appropriate transactions are available to it.
When a Fund engages in foreign currency transactions for hedging purposes, it may engage in both “transaction hedging” and “position hedging.” When it engages in transaction hedging, a Fund enters into foreign currency transactions with respect to specific receivables or payables of the Fund generally arising in connection with the purchase or sale of its portfolio securities. A Fund may engage in transaction hedging when it desires to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of a security it has agreed to purchase or sell, or the U.S. dollar equivalent of a dividend or interest payment in a foreign currency. By transaction hedging, a Fund may attempt to protect against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the applicable foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.
A Fund may purchase or sell a foreign currency on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the prevailing spot rate in connection with transaction hedging. A Fund may also enter into contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”) and purchase and sell foreign currency futures contracts.
For transaction hedging purposes, a Fund may also purchase exchange-listed and over-the-counter call and put options on foreign currency futures contracts and on foreign currencies. A put option on a futures contract gives a Fund the right to assume a short position in the futures contract until expiration of the option. A put option on currency gives a Fund the right to sell a currency at a specified exercise price until the expiration of the option. A call option on a futures contract gives a Fund the right to assume a long position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A call option on currency gives a Fund the right to purchase a currency at the exercise price until the expiration of the option.
When it engages in position hedging, a Fund enters into foreign currency exchange transactions to protect against a decline in the values of the foreign currencies in which securities held by the Fund are denominated or are quoted in their principal trading markets or an increase in the value of currency for securities which the Fund expects to purchase. In connection with position hedging, a Fund may purchase put or call options on foreign currency and foreign currency futures contracts and buy or sell forward contracts and foreign currency futures contracts. A Fund may also purchase or sell foreign currency on a spot basis.
The precise matching of the amounts of foreign currency exchange transactions and the value of the portfolio securities involved will not generally be possible since the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the values of those securities between the dates the currency exchange transactions are entered into and the dates they mature.
It is impossible to forecast with precision the market value of a Fund’s portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, it may be necessary for a Fund to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such purchase) if the market value of the security or securities being hedged is less than the amount of foreign currency a Fund is obligated to deliver and if a decision is made to sell the security or securities and make delivery of the foreign currency. Conversely, it may be necessary to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency received upon the sale of the portfolio security or securities of a Fund if the market value of such security or securities exceeds the amount of foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver. To offset some of the costs of hedging against fluctuations in currency exchange rates, a Fund may write covered call options on those currencies.
Transaction and position hedging do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities that a Fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange that one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, although these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they tend to limit any potential gain which might result from the increase in the value of such currency.
A Fund may also seek to increase its current return by purchasing and selling foreign currency on a spot basis, by purchasing and selling options on foreign currencies and on foreign currency futures contracts, and by purchasing and selling foreign currency forward contracts.
The value of any currency, including U.S. dollars and foreign currencies, may be affected by complex political and economic factors applicable to the issuing country. In addition, the exchange rates of foreign currencies (and therefore the values of foreign currency options, forward contracts, and futures contracts) may be affected significantly, fixed, or supported directly or indirectly by U.S. and foreign government actions. Government intervention may increase risks involved in purchasing or selling foreign currency options, forward contracts, and futures contracts, since exchange rates may not be free to fluctuate in response to other market forces. Foreign governmental restrictions or taxes could result in adverse changes in the cost of acquiring or disposing of foreign currencies.
Currency Forward and Futures Contracts. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract as agreed by the parties, at
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a price set at the time of the contract. In the case of a cancelable forward contract, the holder has the unilateral right to cancel the contract at maturity by paying a specified fee. The contracts are traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are charged at any stage for trades. A foreign currency futures contract is a standardized contract for the future delivery of a specified amount of a foreign currency at a future date at a price set at the time of the contract. Foreign currency futures contracts traded in the United States are designed by and traded on exchanges regulated by the CFTC, such as the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Forward foreign currency exchange contracts differ from foreign currency futures contracts in certain respects. For example, the maturity date of a forward contract may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, rather than a predetermined date in a given month. Forward contracts may be in any amounts agreed upon by the parties rather than predetermined amounts. Also, forward foreign exchange contracts are traded directly between currency traders so that no intermediary is required. A forward contract generally requires no margin or other deposit.
At the maturity of a forward or futures contract, a Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract, or at or prior to maturity enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract. Closing transactions with respect to futures contracts are effected on a commodities exchange; a clearing corporation associated with the exchange assumes responsibility for closing out such contracts.
Positions in foreign currency futures contracts and related options may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade which provides a secondary market in such contracts or options. Although a Fund will normally purchase or sell foreign currency futures contracts and related options only on exchanges or boards of trade where there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a secondary market on an exchange or board of trade will exist for any particular contract or option or at any particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures or related option position and, in the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin on its futures positions.
Foreign Currency Options. Options on foreign currencies operate similarly to options on securities, and are traded primarily in the over-the-counter market, although options on foreign currencies have been listed on several exchanges. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular option at any specific time. Options on foreign currencies are affected by all of those factors which influence exchange rates and investments generally.
The value of a foreign currency option is dependent upon the value of the foreign currency and the U.S. dollar, and may have no relationship to the investment merits of a foreign security. Because 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, investors 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.
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. Available quotation information is generally representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus may not reflect relatively smaller transactions (less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that the U.S. options markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements may take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the U.S. options markets.
Foreign Currency Conversion. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for currency conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (the “spread”) between prices at which they buy and sell various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should a Fund desire to resell that currency to the dealer.
Convertible Securities
Convertible securities include bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks, and other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for, at a specific price or formula within a particular period of time, a prescribed amount of common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer. Convertible securities entitle the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or dividends paid or accrued on preferred stock until the security matures or is redeemed, converted, or exchanged.
The market value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” and its “conversion value.” A security’s “investment value” represents the value of the security without its conversion feature (i.e., a nonconvertible fixed income security). The investment value may be determined by reference to its credit quality and the current value of its yield to maturity or probable call date. At any given time, investment value is dependent upon such factors as the general level of interest rates, the yield of similar nonconvertible
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securities, the financial strength of the issuer and the seniority of the security in the issuer’s capital structure. A security’s “conversion value” is determined by multiplying the number of shares the holder is entitled to receive upon conversion or exchange by the current price of the underlying security.
If the conversion value of a convertible security is significantly below its investment value, the convertible security will trade like nonconvertible debt or preferred stock and its market value will not be influenced greatly by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security. Conversely, if the conversion value of a convertible security is near or above its investment value, the market value of the convertible security will be more heavily influenced by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security.
A Fund’s investments in convertible securities may at times include securities that have a mandatory conversion feature, pursuant to which the securities convert automatically into common stock or other equity securities at a specified date and a specified conversion ratio, or that are convertible at the option of the issuer. Because conversion of the security is not at the option of the holder, a Fund may be required to convert the security into the underlying common stock even at times when the value of the underlying common stock or other equity security has declined substantially.
A Fund’s investments in convertible securities, particularly securities that are convertible into securities of an issuer other than the issuer of the convertible security, may be illiquid. A Fund may not be able to dispose of such securities in a timely fashion or for a fair price, which could result in losses to the Fund.
Debt Securities
Corporate Obligations. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, debentures and notes. Debentures represent unsecured promises to pay, while notes and bonds may be secured by mortgages on real property or security interests in personal property. Bonds include, but are not limited to, debt instruments with maturities of approximately one year or more, debentures, mortgage-related securities, stripped government securities and zero-coupon obligations. Bonds, notes and debentures in which the Funds may invest may differ in interest rates, maturities and times of issuance. The market value of a Fund’s fixed income investments will change in response to interest rate changes and other factors. During periods of falling interest rates, the values of outstanding fixed income securities generally rise. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the values of such securities generally decline. Moreover, while securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields, the price of longer maturity securities also are subject to greater market fluctuations as a result of changes in interest rates.
Changes by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) in the rating of any fixed income security and in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal also affect the value of these investments. Except under conditions of default, changes in the value of a Fund’s securities will not affect cash income derived from these securities but may affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”). Ratings represent a rating agency’s opinion regarding the quality of the security and are not a guarantee of quality. In addition, rating agencies may fail to make timely changes to credit ratings in response to subsequent events and a rating may become stale in that it fails to reflect changes in an issuer’s financial condition. See Appendix A to this SAI for a more detailed discussion of securities ratings.
Investment-Grade and High-Quality Securities. The Funds may invest in “investment-grade” obligations, which are those that are rated at the time of purchase within the four highest rating categories assigned by an NRSRO or, if unrated, are obligations that the Adviser determines to be of comparable quality. The applicable securities ratings are described in Appendix A to this SAI. “High-quality” short-term obligations are those obligations that, at the time of purchase, (1) possess a rating in one of the two highest ratings categories from at least one NRSRO or (2) are unrated by an NRSRO but are determined by the Adviser to present minimal credit risks and to be of comparable quality to rated instruments eligible for purchase by the Funds under guidelines adopted by the Board.
Lower-Rated Debt Securities. A Fund may purchase lower-rated debt securities, sometimes referred to as “junk bonds.” For all of the Funds, a security will be considered to be below investment grade if it is rated Ba1 or lower by Moody’s and BB+ or lower by S&P, or if unrated, has been determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality. See Appendix A for a description of these ratings.
The lower ratings of certain securities held by a Fund reflect a greater possibility that adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, or in general economic conditions, or both, or an unanticipated rise in interest rates, may impair the ability of the issuer to make payments of interest and principal. The inability (or perceived inability) of issuers to make timely payment of interest and principal would likely make the values of securities held by the Fund more volatile and could limit the Fund’s ability to sell its securities at prices approximating the values a Fund had placed on such securities. In the absence of a liquid trading market for securities held by it, the Fund may be unable at times to establish the fair market value of such securities. The rating assigned to a security by Moody’s or S&P does not reflect an assessment of the volatility of the security’s market value or of the liquidity of an investment in the security.
Like those of other fixed-income securities, the values of lower-rated securities fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates. Thus, a decrease in interest rates generally will result in an increase in the value of a Fund’s fixed-income securities. Conversely, during
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periods of rising interest rates, the value of a Fund’s fixed-income securities generally will decline. Securities with floating interest rates (which are typically lower-rated securities) generally are less sensitive to interest rate changes, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much as interest rates in general. However, extreme increases in prevailing interest rates may cause an increase in floating rate security issuer defaults, which may cause a further decline in a Fund’s value. A decrease in interest rates could adversely affect the income earned by a Fund from its floating rate securities. In addition, the values of lower-rated securities are also affected by changes in general economic conditions and business conditions affecting the specific industries of their issuers. Changes by recognized rating services in their ratings of any fixed-income security and in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal may also affect the value of these investments.
Changes in the values of portfolio securities generally will not affect cash income derived from such securities, but will affect the Fund’s NAV.
Issuers of lower-rated securities are often highly leveraged, so that their ability to service their debt obligations during an economic downturn or during sustained periods of rising interest rates may be impaired. In addition, such issuers may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them, and may be unable to repay debt at maturity by refinancing. The risk of loss due to default in payment of interest or principal by such issuers is significantly greater because such securities frequently are unsecured and subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness. Certain of the lower-rated securities in which a Fund may invest are issued to raise funds in connection with the acquisition of a company, in so-called “leveraged buyout” transactions. The highly leveraged capital structure of such issuers may make them especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic conditions.
Under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, a Fund could find it more difficult to sell lower-rated securities or may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than might otherwise be available. In many cases, lower-rated securities may be purchased in private placements and, accordingly, will be subject to restrictions on resale as a matter of contract or under securities laws. Under such circumstances, it may also be more difficult to determine the fair value of such securities for purposes of computing a Fund’s NAV. In order to enforce its rights in the event of a default under lower-rated securities, a Fund may be required to take possession of and manage assets securing the issuer’s obligations on such securities, which may increase the Fund’s operating expenses and adversely affect the Fund’s NAV. A Fund may also be limited in its ability to enforce its rights and may incur greater costs in enforcing its rights in the event an issuer becomes the subject of bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, the Funds’ intention to qualify as “regulated investment companies” under the Code may limit the extent to which a Fund may exercise its rights by taking possession of such assets.
Certain securities held by a Fund may permit the issuer at its option to “call,” or redeem, its securities. If an issuer were to redeem securities held by a Fund during a time of declining interest rates, the Fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds in securities providing the same investment return as the securities redeemed.
Lower rated securities may be subject to certain risks not typically associated with “investment grade” securities, such as the following: (1) reliable and objective information about the value of lower rated obligations may be difficult to obtain because the market for such securities may be thinner and less active than that for investment grade obligations; (2) adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of lower than investment grade obligations, and, in turn, adversely affect their market; (3) companies that issue lower rated obligations may be in the growth stage of their development, or may be financially troubled or highly leveraged, so they may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them; (4) when other institutional investors dispose of their holdings of lower rated debt securities, the general market and the prices for such securities could be adversely affected; and (5) the market for lower rated securities could be impaired if legislative proposals to limit their use in connection with corporate reorganizations or to limit their tax and other advantages are enacted.
Convertible and Exchangeable Debt Obligations. A convertible debt obligation is typically a bond or preferred stock that may be converted at a stated price within a specified period of time into a specified number of shares of common stock of the same or a different issuer. Convertible debt obligations are usually senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure, but usually are subordinate to similar non-convertible debt obligations. While providing a fixed income stream (generally higher in yield than the income derivable from a common stock but lower than that afforded by a similar non-convertible debt obligation), a convertible debt obligation also affords an investor the opportunity, through its conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation of the common stock into which it is convertible.
An exchangeable debt obligation is debt that is redeemable in either cash or a specified number of common shares of a company different from the issuing company. Exchangeable debt obligations have characteristics and risks similar to those of convertible debt obligations and behave in the market place the same way as convertible debt obligations.
In general, the market value of a convertible debt obligation is at least the higher of its “investment value” (i.e., its value as a fixed income security) or its “conversion value” (i.e., the value of the underlying share of common stock if the security is converted). As a fixed-income security, a convertible debt obligation tends to increase in market value when interest rates decline and tends to decrease in value when interest rates rise. However, the price of a convertible debt obligation also is influenced by the market value of the
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security’s underlying common stock. Thus, the price of a convertible debt obligation tends to increase as the market value of the underlying stock increases, and tends to decrease as the market value of the underlying stock declines. While no securities investment is without some risk, investments in convertible debt obligations generally entail less risk than investments in the common stock of the same issuer.
Securities received upon conversion of convertible debt obligations or upon exercise of call options or warrants forming elements of synthetic convertibles (described below) may be retained temporarily to permit orderly disposition or to defer realization of gain or loss for federal tax purposes, and will be included in calculating the amount of the Fund’s total assets invested in true and synthetic convertibles.
The Funds may invest in securities convertible into common stock, such as convertible bonds, convertible notes, and convertible preferred stocks. In making investment decisions involving convertible securities, the Adviser considers the attractiveness of the underlying common stock, the financial condition of the issuer, the effect on portfolio diversification, equity sensitivity or delta, current income or yield, upside/downside analysis (how the Adviser expects the convertible security to perform over a given time period given a change in the underlying common stock), convertible valuation (convertible price relative to its theoretical value), and the liquidity of the security.
Certificates of Deposit (“CDs”) are negotiable certificates issued against funds deposited in a commercial bank or a savings and loan association for a definite period of time and earning a specified return. A Fund may invest in CDs and demand and time deposits of domestic and foreign banks and savings and loan associations, if (a) at the time of purchase such financial institutions have capital, surplus and undivided profits in excess of $100 million (as of the date of their most recently published financial statements) or (b) the principal amount of the instrument is insured in full by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the Savings Association Insurance Fund.
Eurodollar CDs are U.S. dollar-denominated CDs issued by branches of foreign and domestic banks located outside the United States. Eurodollar time deposits are U.S. dollar-denominated deposits in a foreign branch of a United States bank or a foreign bank.
Yankee CDs are issued by a U.S. branch of a foreign bank denominated in U.S. dollars and held in the United States.
Canadian Time Deposits are U.S. dollar-denominated CDs issued by Canadian offices of major Canadian banks.
Commercial Paper consists of short-term (usually from 1 to 270 days) unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations in order to finance their current operations. A variable amount master demand note (which is a type of commercial paper) represents a direct borrowing arrangement involving periodically fluctuating rates of interest under a letter agreement between a commercial paper issuer and an institutional lender pursuant to which the lender may determine to invest varying amounts. Except as noted below, with respect to variable amount master demand notes, issues of commercial paper normally have maturities of less than nine months and fixed rates of return. In addition to corporate issuers, borrowers that issue municipal securities also may issue tax-exempt commercial paper.
Investments in commercial paper are subject to the risk the issuer cannot issue enough new commercial paper to satisfy its outstanding commercial paper, also known as rollover risk. Commercial paper may become illiquid or may suffer from reduced liquidity in certain circumstances. Like all fixed-income securities, commercial paper prices are susceptible to fluctuations in interest rates. If interest rates rise, commercial paper prices will decline. The short-term nature of a commercial paper investment makes it less susceptible to interest rate risk than many other fixed-income securities because interest rate risk typically increases as maturity lengths increase. Commercial paper tends to yield smaller returns than longer-term corporate debt because securities with shorter maturities typically have lower effective yields than those with longer maturities. As with all fixed-income securities, there is a chance that the issuer will default on its commercial paper obligation.
Where necessary to ensure that an instrument meets, or is of comparable quality to, a Fund’s rating criteria, the Fund may require that the issuer’s obligation to pay the principal of, and the interest on, the instrument be backed by insurance or by an unconditional bank letter or line of credit, guarantee, or commitment to lend. In addition, each of the Funds may acquire commercial paper and corporate bonds of issuers that are not rated but are determined by the Adviser at the time of purchase to be of comparable quality to instruments of issuers that may be acquired by such Fund as previously described.
Trust-Preferred Securities
Trust-preferred (or “capital”) securities, which are issued by entities such as special purpose bank subsidiaries, currently are permitted to treat the interest payments as a tax-deductible cost. Capital securities, which have no voting rights, have a final stated maturity date and a fixed schedule for periodic payments. In addition, capital securities have provisions which afford preference over common and preferred stock upon liquidation, although the securities are subordinated to other, more senior debt securities of the same issuer. The issuers of these securities retain the right to defer interest payments for a period of up to five years, although interest continues to accrue cumulatively. The deferral of payments may not exceed the stated maturity date of the securities themselves. The non-payment of
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deferred interest at the end of the permissible period will be treated as an incidence of default. At the present time, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) treats capital securities as debt. In the event that the tax treatment of interest payments of these types of securities is modified, a Fund will reconsider the appropriateness of continued investment in these securities.
Some of a Fund’s investments may have variable interest rates. When an instrument provides for periodic adjustments to its interest rate, fluctuations in principal value may be minimized. However, changes in the coupon rate can lag behind changes in market rates, which may adversely affect a Fund’s performance.
Income Deposit Securities
Each income deposit security (“IDS”) represents two separate securities, shares of common stock and subordinated notes issued by the same company, that are combined into one unit that trades like a stock on an exchange. Holders of IDSs receive dividends on the common shares and interest at a fixed rate on the subordinated notes to produce a blended yield. An IDS is typically listed on a stock exchange, but the underlying securities typically are not listed on the exchange until a period of time after the listing of the IDS or upon the occurrence of certain events (e.g., a change of control of the issuer of the IDS). When the underlying securities are listed, the holders of IDSs generally have the right to separate the components of the IDSs and trade them separately.
There may be a thinner and less active market for IDSs than that available for other securities. The value of an IDS will be affected by factors generally affecting common stock and subordinated debt securities, including the issuer’s actual or perceived ability to pay interest and principal on the notes and pay dividends on the stock.
The U.S. federal income tax treatment of IDSs is not entirely clear and there is no authority that directly addresses the tax treatment of securities with terms substantially similar to IDSs. Among other things, although it is expected that the subordinated notes portion of an IDS will be treated as debt, if it is characterized as equity rather than debt, then interest paid on the notes could be treated as dividends (to the extent paid out of the issuer’s earnings and profits). Such dividends would not likely qualify for favorable long-term capital gains rates currently available to dividends on other types of equity.
Indexed Securities
A Fund may purchase securities whose prices are indexed to the prices of other securities, securities indices, currencies, precious metals or other commodities, or other financial indicators. Indexed securities typically, but not always, are debt securities or deposits whose value at maturity or coupon rate is determined by reference to a specific instrument or statistic. Gold-indexed securities, for example, typically provide for a maturity value that depends on the price of gold, resulting in a security whose price tends to rise and fall together with gold prices. Currency-indexed securities typically are short-term to intermediate-term debt securities whose maturity values or interest rates are determined by reference to the values of one or more specified foreign currencies, and may offer higher yields than U.S. dollar-denominated securities of equivalent issuers. Currency-indexed securities may be positively or negatively indexed; that is, their maturity value may increase when the specified currency value increases, resulting in a security whose price characteristics are similar to a put option on the underlying currency. Currency-indexed securities also may have prices that depend on the values of a number of different foreign currencies relative to each other.
The performance of indexed securities depends to a great extent on the performance of the security, currency, commodity or other instrument to which they are indexed, and also may be influenced by interest rate changes in the United States and abroad. At the same time, indexed securities are subject to the credit risks associated with the issuer of the security, and their values may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. Issuers of indexed securities include, among others, banks, corporations, and certain U.S. government agencies.
Loans
A Fund may invest in loans including, for example, corporate loans, loan participations, direct debt, bank debt and bridge debt. A Fund may invest in a loan by lending money to a borrower directly as part of a syndicate of lenders. Alternatively, a Fund may invest in loans through novations, assignments and participating interests. In a novation, a Fund typically assumes all of the rights of a lending institution in a loan, including the right to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts directly from the borrower and to enforce its rights as a lender directly against the borrower. When a Fund takes an assignment of a loan or acquires a participation interest in a loan, the Fund acquires some or all of the interest of another lender (or assignee) in the loan. In such cases, the Fund may be required generally to rely upon the assignor or participating institution to demand payment and enforce rights under the loan. (There may be one or more assignors or participating institutions prior in time to the Fund.)
Loans in which a Fund may invest are subject generally to the same risks as debt securities in which the Fund may invest. In addition, loans in which a Fund may invest, including bridge loans, are generally made to finance internal growth, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, leveraged buyouts and other corporate activities, including bridge loans. A significant portion of the loans purchased by a Fund may represent interests in loans made to finance highly leveraged corporate acquisitions, known as “leveraged buyout”
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transactions, leveraged recapitalization loans and other types of acquisition financing. The highly leveraged capital structure of the borrowers in such transactions may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market conditions. Further, loans and other forms of direct indebtedness may not be considered “securities” for certain purposes under the federal securities laws, and purchasers, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud and misrepresentation protections of the federal securities laws.
Loans generally are subject to restrictions on transfer, and only limited opportunities may exist to sell loans in secondary markets. As a result, a Fund may be unable to sell loans at a time when it may otherwise be desirable to do so or may be able to sell them only at a price that is less than their fair market value.
If a Fund only acquires a participation in the loan made by a third party, the Fund may not be able to control the exercise of any remedies that the lender would have under the loan. In addition, a Fund may have to rely on the lender that sold the participation to demand and receive payments in respect of the loans, and to pay those amounts on to the Fund; the Fund will be subject to the risk that the lender that sold the participation may be unwilling or unable to do so. In such a case, the Fund would not likely have any rights over against the borrower directly.
Certain of the loans acquired by a Fund may involve revolving credit facilities under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan participation. A Fund may be required to fund such advances at times and in circumstances where the Fund might not otherwise choose to make a loan to the borrower.
The value of collateral, if any, securing a loan can decline, or may be insufficient to meet the borrower’s obligations or difficult to liquidate. In addition, a Fund’s access to collateral may be limited by bankruptcy or other insolvency laws. If a secured loan is foreclosed, a Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral. In addition, under legal theories of lender liability, a Fund potentially might be held liable as a co-lender.
Repurchase Agreements
A repurchase agreement is a contract under which the Fund acquires a security for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to the obligation of the seller to repurchase and the Fund to resell such security at a fixed time and price (representing the Fund’s cost plus interest). Repurchase agreements may also be viewed as loans made by a Fund which are collateralized by the securities subject to repurchase. The value of the underlying securities in such transactions will be at least equal at all times to the total amount of the repurchase obligation, including the interest factor. If the seller defaults, a Fund could realize a loss on the sale of the underlying security to the extent that the proceeds of sale including accrued interest are less than the resale price provided in the agreement including interest. In addition, if the seller should be involved in bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, a Fund may incur delay and costs in selling the underlying security or may suffer a loss of principal and interest if the Fund is treated as an unsecured creditor and required to return the underlying collateral to the seller’s estate.
To the extent that a Fund has invested a substantial portion of its assets in repurchase agreements, the Fund’s investment return on such assets, and potentially the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives, will depend on the counterparties’ willingness and ability to perform their obligations under the repurchase agreements.
Rule 18f-4 permits a Fund to treat reverse repurchase transactions (and other similar financing transactions) either as borrowings or as “derivatives transactions” subject to the risk-based limits of Rule 18f-4, and does not require the Fund to maintain segregated assets to meet its asset coverage requirements.
U.S. Government Agency and Instrumentality Securities
U.S. government agency securities are debt obligations issued by agencies or authorities controlled by and acting as instrumentalities of the U.S. government established under authority granted by Congress. U.S. government agency obligations include, but are not limited to, those issued by the Bank for Co-operatives, FHLBs, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, and Fannie Mae. U.S. government instrumentality obligations include, but are not limited to, those issued by the Export-Import Bank and Farmers Home Administration. Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; others, by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others, by discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the agency or instrumentality; and others, only by the credit of the agency or instrumentality. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support to such U.S. government sponsored agencies or instrumentalities in the future, since it is not obligated to do so by law. To the extent a Fund invests in U.S. government securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, such investments may involve a greater risk of loss of principal and interest since the Fund must look principally or solely to the issuing or guaranteeing agency or instrumentality for repayment.
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U.S. Treasury Bills. U.S. Treasury Bills are issued with maturities of up to one year. Three-month bills are currently offered by the U.S. Treasury on a 13-week cycle and are auctioned each week by the U.S. Treasury. Bills are issued in bearer form only and are sold only on a discount basis, and the difference between the purchase price and the maturity value (or the resale price if they are sold before maturity) constitutes the interest income for the investor. Although a Fund may hold securities that carry U.S. government guarantees, these guarantees do not extend to shares of the Fund itself and do not guarantee the market prices of the securities.
Interfund Borrowing and Lending
Certain funds in the Victory Funds Complex have obtained an exemptive order from the SEC allowing them to lend money to, and borrow money from, each other pursuant to a master interfund lending agreement (the “Interfund Lending Program”). Under the Interfund Lending Program, the Funds may lend or borrow money for temporary purposes directly to or from one another (an “Interfund Loan”), subject to meeting the conditions of the SEC exemptive order. All Interfund Loans will consist only of uninvested cash reserves that the lending fund otherwise would invest in short-term repurchase agreements or other short-term instruments.
If a Fund has outstanding bank borrowings, any Interfund Loans to the Fund would: (a) be at an interest rate equal to or lower than that of any outstanding bank borrowing, (b) be secured at least on an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding bank loan that requires collateral, (c) have a maturity no longer than any outstanding bank loan (and in any event not over seven days), and (d) provide that, if an event of default occurs under any agreement evidencing an outstanding bank loan to the Fund, that event of default by the Fund will automatically (without need for action or notice by the lending fund) constitute an immediate event of default under the master interfund lending agreement, entitling the lending fund to call the Interfund Loan immediately (and exercise all rights with respect to any collateral), and that such call will be made if the lending bank exercises its right to call its loan under its agreement with the borrowing fund.
A Fund may borrow on an unsecured basis through the Interfund Lending Program only if its outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the interfund borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets, provided that if the borrowing fund has a secured loan outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another fund, the lending fund’s Interfund Loan will be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding loan that requires collateral. If a borrowing fund’s total outstanding borrowings immediately after an Interfund Loan would be greater than 10% of its total assets, the Fund may borrow through the Interfund Lending Program only on a secured basis. A Fund may not borrow under the Interfund Lending Program or from any other source if its total outstanding borrowings immediately after the borrowing would be more than 33 1/3% of its total assets or any lower threshold provided for by the Fund’s fundamental restrictions or non-fundamental policies.
No Fund may lend to another fund through the Interfund Lending Program if the loan would cause the lending fund’s aggregate outstanding loans through the Interfund Lending Program to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan. A Fund’s Interfund Loans to any one fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending fund’s net assets. The duration of Interfund Loans will be limited to the time required to receive payment for securities sold, but in no event more than seven days, and for purposes of this condition, loans effected within seven days of each other will be treated as separate loan transactions. Each Interfund Loan may be called on one business day’s notice by a lending fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing fund. The limitations detailed above and the other conditions of the SEC exemptive order permitting interfund borrowing and lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund borrowing and lending for both a lending fund and a borrowing fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. When a Fund borrows money from another fund, there is a risk that the Interfund Loan could be called on one business day’s notice or not renewed, in which case the Fund may have to borrow from a bank at higher rates if an Interfund Loan is not available from another fund. Interfund Loans are subject to the risk that a borrowing fund could be unable to repay the loan when due, and a delay in repayment to a lending fund or from a borrowing fund could result in a lost investment opportunity or additional costs. No Fund may borrow more than the amount permitted by its investment limitations. The Interfund Lending Program is subject to the oversight and periodic review of the Board.
Short Sales
Short sales are transactions in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. To complete such a transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at or prior to the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, the Fund is required to repay the lender any dividends or interest that accrue during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, the Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. The net proceeds of the short sale will typically be retained by the broker until the short position is closed out. The Fund also will incur transaction costs in effecting short sales, including the cost of making the lender whole for any dividends or interest paid on the securities during the period of the loan.
A Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security. A Fund will generally realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of the premium, dividends,
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interest, or expenses the Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale. An increase in the value of a security sold short by a Fund over the price at which it was sold short will result in a loss to the Fund. There can be no assurance that a Fund will be able to close out the position at any particular time or at an acceptable price. There is no limit on the amount of money a Fund may lose on a short sale.
A Fund’s ability to engage in short sales may from time to time be limited or prohibited because of the inability to borrow certain securities in the market, legal restrictions on short sales, or other reasons.
Foreign Investments
Investments in foreign securities may involve considerations different from investments in domestic securities due to limited publicly available information, non-uniform accounting standards, lower trading volume and possible consequent illiquidity, greater volatility in price, the possible imposition of withholding or confiscatory taxes, the possible adoption of foreign governmental restrictions affecting the payment of principal and interest, expropriation of assets, nationalization, or other adverse political or economic developments. Foreign companies may not be subject to auditing and financial reporting standards and requirements comparable to those which apply to U.S. companies. Foreign brokerage commissions and other fees are generally higher than in the United States. It may be more difficult to obtain and enforce a judgment against a foreign issuer. Foreign settlement procedures and trade regulations may involve certain risks (such as delay in payment or delivery of securities or in the recovery of a Fund’s assets held abroad) and expenses not present in the settlement of domestic investments. Legal remedies available to investors in certain foreign countries may be more limited than those available with respect to investments in the United States or in other foreign countries. The laws of some foreign countries may limit a Fund’s ability to invest in securities of certain issuers located in those foreign countries.
In addition, to the extent that a Fund’s foreign investments are not U.S. dollar-denominated, the Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates or exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversion between currencies.
Several foreign governments permit investments by non-residents only through participation in certain specifically organized investment companies. Subject to the provisions of the 1940 Act, a Fund may invest in the shares of such other investment companies.
In addition, a Fund may also invest a portion of their assets in unit trusts organized in the United Kingdom (which are analogous to U.S. mutual funds) and which invest in smaller foreign markets than those in which a Fund would ordinarily invest directly.
Developing Countries. The considerations noted above for foreign investments generally are intensified for investments in developing countries. These risks include (i) volatile social, political, and economic conditions; (ii) the small current size of the markets for such securities and the currently low or nonexistent volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity and in greater price volatility; (iii) the existence of national policies which may restrict a Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation; (v) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; (vi) the absence, until recently in certain developing countries, of a capital market structure or market-oriented economy; (vii) economies based on only a few industries; (viii) the possibility that recent favorable economic developments, as applicable, in certain developing countries may be slowed or reversed by unanticipated political or social events in such countries; and (ix) in certain emerging markets, systems of share registration and custody that create certain risks of loss (including the risk of total loss) that are not normally associated with investments in other securities markets.
Depositary Receipts. A Fund may invest in sponsored or unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), GDRs, International Depositary Receipts (“IDRs”) and other types of depositary receipts (which, together with ADRs, EDRs, GDRs and IDRs are hereinafter referred to as “Depositary Receipts”). Depositary Receipts provide indirect investment in securities of foreign issuers. Prices of unsponsored Depositary Receipts may be more volatile than if they were sponsored by the issuer of the underlying securities. Depositary Receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. In addition, the issuers of the stock of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States and, therefore, there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.
ADRs are depositary receipts which are bought and sold in the United States and are typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company which evidences ownership of underlying securities by a foreign corporation. GDRs, IDRs and other types of Depositary Receipts are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies, although they may also be issued by U.S. banks or trust companies, and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or a United States corporation. Generally, Depositary Receipts in registered form are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets and Depositary Receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside the United States.
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For purposes of a Fund’s investment policies, a Fund’s investments in ADRs, GDRs, IDRs and other types of Depositary Receipts will be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities. Depositary Receipts, including those denominated in U.S. dollars will be subject to foreign currency exchange rate risk. However, by investing in U.S. dollar-denominated ADRs rather than directly in foreign issuers’ stock, a Fund avoids currency risks during the settlement period. In general, there is a large, liquid market in the United States for most ADRs. However, certain Depositary Receipts may not be listed on an exchange and therefore may be illiquid investments.
Investing through Stock Connect. Certain Funds may invest in developing markets through trading structures or protocols that subject them to certain risks (such as risks associated with illiquidity, custody of assets, different settlement and clearance procedures, asserting legal title under developing legal and regulatory regimes and other risks) to a greater degree than in developed markets or even other developing markets. For example, a Fund may invest in certain eligible Chinese securities (“China A-Shares”) listed and traded on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”) through the Hong Kong—Shanghai Stock Connect (“Stock Connect”) program. Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing program developed by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“SEHK”), SSE, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited for the establishment of mutual market access between SEHK and SSE. Stock Connect is subject to regulations promulgated by regulatory authorities for both SSE and SEHK. Further regulations or restrictions, such as limitations on redemptions or suspension of trading, may adversely affect Stock Connect and the value of the China A-Shares held by a Fund. There is no guarantee that the systems required to operate Stock Connect will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in both markets or that both exchanges will continue to support Stock Connect in the future. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Stock Connect could be disrupted.
Although trading through Stock Connect is not subject to individual investment quotas, daily and aggregate investment quotas apply to the aggregate volume of trading on Stock Connect, which may restrict or preclude a Fund’s ability to invest in Stock Connect securities or to enter into or exit trades on a timely basis. In addition, Stock Connect securities generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect pursuant to the program’s rules, which may further subject a Fund to liquidity risk in respect of China A-Shares. Stock Connect can only operate when both Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. As a result, if either or both of these markets are closed on a U.S. trading day, a Fund may not be able to dispose of its China A-Shares in a timely manner, which could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Because of the way in which China A-Shares are held through Stock Connect, a Fund may not be able to exercise the rights of a shareholder and may be limited in its ability to pursue claims against the issuer of a security, and may suffer losses in the event the depository of the SSE becomes insolvent. Only certain China A-shares are eligible to be accessed through Stock Connect. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they presumably could be sold but could no longer be purchased through Stock Connect. Investments in China A-shares may not be covered by the securities investor protection programs of either exchange and, without the protection of such programs, will be subject to the risk of default by the broker.
International and Foreign Debt Securities
International Bonds include Yankee and Euro obligations, which are U.S. dollar-denominated international bonds for which the primary trading market is in the United States (Yankee Bonds), or for which the primary trading market is abroad (Eurodollar Bonds). International bonds also include Canadian and supranational agency bonds (e.g., those issued by the International Monetary Fund). (See “Foreign Debt Securities” for a description of risks associated with investments in foreign securities.)
Foreign Debt Securities. Investments in securities of foreign companies generally involve greater risks than are present in U.S. investments. Compared to U.S. companies, there generally is less publicly available information about foreign companies and there may be less governmental regulation and supervision of foreign stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies.
Foreign companies generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those prevalent in the United States Securities of some foreign companies are less liquid, and their prices more volatile, than securities of comparable U.S. companies. Settlement of transactions in some foreign markets may be delayed or may be less frequent than in the United States, which could affect the liquidity of a Fund’s investment.
In addition, with respect to some foreign countries, there is the possibility of nationalization, expropriation, or confiscatory taxation; limitations on the removal of securities, property, or other assets of a Fund; political or social instability; increased difficulty in obtaining legal judgments; or diplomatic developments that could affect U.S. investments in those countries. The Adviser will take such factors into consideration in managing a Fund’s investments.
Since most foreign debt securities are not rated, a Fund will invest in those foreign debt securities based on the Adviser’s analysis without relying on published ratings. Achievement of a Fund’s goals, therefore, may depend more upon the abilities of the Adviser than would otherwise be the case. The value of the foreign debt securities held by a Fund, and thus the NAV of a Fund’s shares, generally will fluctuate with (a) changes in the perceived creditworthiness of the issuers of those securities, (b) movements in interest rates, and (c) changes in the relative values of the currencies in which a Fund’s investments in debt securities are denominated with respect to the U.S. dollar. The extent of the fluctuation will depend on various factors, such as the average maturity of a Fund’s investments in
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foreign debt securities, and the extent to which a Fund hedges its interest rate, credit and currency exchange rate risks. A longer average maturity generally is associated with a higher level of volatility in the market value of such securities in response to changes in market conditions. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal recourse in that, generally, remedies for defaults must be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party.
Foreign Currency Considerations. Because investments in foreign securities usually involve currencies of foreign countries, and because a Fund may hold foreign currencies and forward contracts, futures contracts, options on foreign currencies and foreign currency futures contracts and other currency related instruments, the value of the assets of a Fund as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations, and a Fund may incur costs and experience conversion difficulties and uncertainties in connection with conversions between various currencies. Fluctuations in exchange rates may also affect the earning power and asset value of the foreign entity issuing the security.
The value of securities denominated in or indexed to foreign currencies and of dividends and interest from such securities, can change significantly when foreign currencies strengthen or weaken relative to the U.S. dollar. The strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar against these currencies is responsible for part of a Fund’s investment performance. If the dollar falls in value relative to the Japanese yen, for example, the dollar value of a Japanese stock held in the portfolio will rise even though the price of the stock remains unchanged. Conversely, if the dollar rises in value relative to the yen, the dollar value of the Japanese stock will fall. Many foreign currencies have experienced significant devaluation relative to the dollar.
Although a Fund values its assets daily in terms of U.S. dollars, it does not intend to convert its holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. It will do so from time to time, and investors should be aware of the costs of currency conversion. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (the “spread”) between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should a Fund desire to resell that currency to the dealer. A Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into options or forward or futures contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles
A Fund may invest in securities of other pooled investment vehicles, including shares of open- or closed-end investment companies and exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”). Provisions of the 1940 Act may limit the ability of a Fund to invest in certain investment companies or may limit the amount of its assets that a Fund may invest in any investment company or investment companies in general.
As an investor in a pooled investment vehicle, a Fund will bear its ratable share of that investment company’s expenses, in addition to the fees and expenses the Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations. These securities represent interests in professionally managed portfolios that may invest in various types of instruments pursuant to a wide range of investment styles. A Fund would also bear the risk of all of the underlying investments held by the other investment company. An investment company may not achieve its investment objective.
Except for investments in money market funds, a Fund may invest up to 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one investment company, but may not own more than 3% of the securities of any one investment company or invest more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of other investment companies. Each Fund may purchase and redeem shares issued by a money market fund without limit, provided that either: (1) the Fund pays no “sales charge” or “service fee” (as each of those terms is defined in the FINRA Conduct Rules); or (2) the Adviser waives its advisory fee in an amount necessary to offset any such sales charge or service fee. For purposes of this investment restriction, a “money market fund” is either: (1) an open-end investment company registered under the 1940 Act and regulated as a money market fund in accordance with Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; or (2) a company that is exempt from registration as in investment company under Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act and that: (a) limits its investments to those permitted under Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (b) undertakes to comply with all the other requirements of Rule 2a-7, except that, if the company has no board of directors, the company’s investment adviser performs the duties of the board of directors.
ETFs are investment companies whose shares trade throughout the day on an exchange. ETF shares are sold directly only to authorized participates in large units (e.g. 50,000 shares or more) (“creation units”). A creation unit generally represents a bundle of securities or commodities that replicates, or is a representative sample of, a particular index or commodity and that is deposited with the ETF. Once owned, the individual shares comprising each creation unit are traded on an exchange in secondary market transactions for cash. The secondary market for ETF shares allows them to be readily converted into cash, like commonly traded stocks. The combination of primary and secondary markets permits ETF shares to be traded throughout the day close to the value of the ETF’s underlying portfolio securities. A Fund would purchase and sell individual shares of ETFs in the secondary market. These secondary market transactions require the payment of commissions. Some ETFs seek is to achieve the same rate of return as a particular market index or commodity. ETFs that use a “passive” investment strategy and will not attempt to take defensive positions in volatile or declining markets. Other ETFs are actively managed portfolios rather than being based upon an underlying index.
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Absent any other investment restrictions to the contrary, Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act (“Rule 12d1-4”), generally permits a Fund to invest in ETFs in excess of the limits set forth in Section 12(d) of the 1940 Act, subject to the conditions of Rule 12d1-4.
Unit investment trusts (“UITs”) are investment companies that hold a fixed portfolio of securities until the fixed maturity date of the UIT. The Funds would generally only purchase UITs in the secondary market for cash, which would result in the payment of commissions.
ETF and UIT shares are subject to the same risk of price fluctuation due to supply and demand as any other stock traded on an exchange, which means that a Fund could receive less from the sale of shares of an ETF or UIT it holds than it paid at the time it purchased those shares. Furthermore, there may be times when the exchange halts trading, in which case a Fund owning ETF or UIT shares would be unable to sell them until trading is resumed. There can be no assurance that an ETF or UIT will continue to meet the listing requirements of the exchange or that an active secondary market will develop for shares. In addition, because ETFs and UITs invest in a portfolio of common stocks or other instruments or commodities, the value of an ETF or UIT could decline if prices of those instruments or commodities decline. An overall decline of those instruments or commodities comprising an ETF’s or UIT’s benchmark index could have a greater impact on the ETF or UIT and investors than might be the case in an investment company with a more widely diversified portfolio. Losses could also occur if the ETF or UIT is unable to replicate the performance of the chosen benchmark index. There may be times when the market price for an ETF or UIT and its NAV vary significantly and a Fund may pay more than (premium) or less than (discount) NAV when buying shares on the secondary market. The market price of an ETF’s or UIT’s shares includes a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. In times of severe market disruption, the bid-ask spread often increases significantly. This means that the shares may trade at a discount to NAV and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of shares is falling fastest.
Other risks associated with ETFs and UITs include the possibility that: (i) an ETF’s or UIT’s distributions may decline if the issuers of the ETF’s or UIT’s portfolio securities fail to continue to pay dividends; and (ii) under certain circumstances, an ETF or UIT could be terminated. Should termination occur, the ETF or UIT could have to liquidate its portfolio securities when the prices for those securities are falling. In addition, inadequate or irregularly provided information about an ETF or UIT or its investments, because ETFs and UITs are generally passively managed, could expose investors in ETFs and UITs to unknown risks. Actively managed ETFs are also subject to the risk of underperformance relative to their chosen benchmark.
Precious Metals
The value of the investments of certain Funds may be affected by changes in the prices of gold and other precious metals. Gold and similar assets have been subject to substantial price fluctuations over short periods of time and may be affected by unpredictable international monetary and other governmental policies, such as currency devaluations or revaluations; economic and social conditions within a country; trade imbalances; or trade or currency restrictions between countries. Because much of the world’s known gold reserves are located in South Africa, political and social conditions there may pose special risks to investments in gold. For instance, social upheaval and related economic difficulties in South Africa could cause a decrease in the share values of South African issuers. The manner and extent of a Fund’s investments in precious metals may be limited by provisions of the 1940 Act and the Fund’s intention to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code, and any such investments by the Fund may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to qualify as a regulated investment company.
Master Limited Partnerships
Master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) are limited partnerships in which ownership units are publicly traded. MLPs often own or own interests in properties or businesses that are related to oil and gas industries, including pipelines, although MLPs may invest in other types of investments, including credit-related investments. Generally, an MLP is operated under the supervision of one or more managing general partners. Limited partners (like a Fund when it invests in an MLP) are not involved in the day-to-day management of the partnership. A Fund also may invest in companies who serve (or whose affiliates serve) as the general partner of an MLP.
Investments in MLPs are generally subject to many of the risks that apply to partnerships. For example, holders of the units of MLPs may have limited control and limited voting rights on matters affecting the partnership. Fewer corporate protections may be afforded to investors in an MLP than investors in a corporation. Conflicts of interest may exist among unit holders, subordinated unit holders and the general partner of an MLP, including those arising from incentive distribution payments. MLPs that concentrate in a particular industry or region are subject to risks associated with such industry or region. MLPs holding credit-related investments are subject to interest rate risk and the risk of default on payment obligations by debt issuers. Investments held by MLPs may be illiquid. MLP units may trade infrequently and in limited volume, and they may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than securities of larger or more broadly based companies.
A Fund may also hold investments in limited liability companies that have many of the same characteristics and are subject to many of the same risks as master limited partnerships.
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The manner and extent of a Fund’s investments in MLPs and limited liability companies may be limited by its intention to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code, and any such investments by the Fund may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to so qualify.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in income-producing real estate or real estate related loans or interests (such as mortgages). The real estate properties in which REITs invest typically include properties such as office buildings, retail and industrial facilities, hotels, apartment buildings and healthcare facilities. The yields available from equity investments in REITs depend on the amount of income and capital appreciation generated by the related properties. Investments in REITs are subject to the risks associated with real estate investments generally, including economic downturns that have an adverse effect on real estate markets, general and local economic conditions, overbuilding and increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, and variations in rental income. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the REIT, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Like regulated investment companies, REITs are generally not subject to U.S. federal income tax on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with several requirements of the Code. The affairs of REITs are managed by the REIT’s sponsor and, as such, the performance of the REIT is dependent on the management skills of the REIT’s sponsor. REITs are not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires). REITs are also subject to interest rate risks. If a Fund makes an equity investment in a REIT, the Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by the REIT in addition to the expenses of the Fund. REITs are subject to the risk of default by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibility that the REIT may fail to qualify for the exemption from tax for distributed income under the Code. Investments in REITs present certain further risks that are unique and in addition to the risks associated with investing directly in the real estate industry in general. The real estate industry has been subject to substantial fluctuations and declines on a local, regional and national basis in the past and may continue to be in the future. Real property values and income from real property may decline due to general and local economic conditions, overbuilding and increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, casualty or condemnation losses, regulatory limitations on rents, changes in neighborhoods and in demographics, increases in market interest rates, or other factors. Factors such as these may adversely affect companies, which own and operate real estate directly, companies which lend to such companies, and companies which service the real estate industry. In addition, as REITs generally pay a higher rate of dividends (on a pre-tax basis) than operating companies, to the extent application of the Fund’s investment strategy results in the Fund investing in REIT shares, the percentage of the Fund’s dividend income received from REIT shares will likely exceed the percentage of the Fund’ s portfolio which is comprised of REIT shares.
Zero-Coupon Debt Securities and Payment-in-Kind Securities
A Fund may purchase zero-coupon debt securities and payment-in-kind securities (“PIKs”). The value of both zero-coupon bonds and PIK bonds may be more sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates than other bonds.
Zero-coupon securities are debt obligations which are generally issued at a discount and payable in full at maturity, and which do not provide for current payments of interest prior to maturity. Zero-coupon securities usually trade at a deep discount from their face or par value and are subject to greater market value fluctuations from changing interest rates than debt obligations of comparable maturities that make current distributions of interest. As a result, the NAV of shares of a Fund investing in zero-coupon securities may fluctuate over a greater range than shares of other mutual funds investing in securities making current distributions of interest and having similar maturities. When interest rates rise, the values of zero-coupon securities fall more rapidly than securities paying interest on a current basis, because the zero-coupon securities are locked into rates of reinvestment that become less attractive the farther rates rise. The converse is true when interest rates fall.
When debt obligations have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons by the holder, the stripped coupons are sold separately. The principal or corpus is sold at a deep discount because the buyer receives only the right to receive a future fixed payment on the security and does not receive any rights to periodic cash interest payments. Once stripped or separated, the corpus and coupons may be sold separately. Typically, the coupons are sold separately or grouped with other coupons with like maturity dates and sold in such bundled form. Purchasers of stripped obligations acquire, in effect, discount obligations that are economically identical to the zero-coupon securities issued directly by the obligor.
Zero-coupon securities allow an issuer to avoid the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments. Even though zero-coupon securities do not pay current interest in cash, a Fund is nonetheless required to accrue interest income on them and to distribute the amount of that interest at least annually to shareholders. Thus, a Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments in order to satisfy its distribution requirement.
A Fund also may purchase PIKs. PIKs pay all or a portion of their interest or dividends in the form of additional securities. Federal tax law requires that the interest on zero-coupon bonds and PIK bonds be accrued as income to the Fund regardless of the fact that the Fund will not receive cash until such securities mature. Since the income must be distributed to shareholders, the Fund may be forced to liquidate other securities in order to make the required distribution.
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Municipal Obligations
Certain of the Funds may invest without limit in municipal obligations which pay interest from similar revenue sources or securities which are offered within a single state. When municipal obligations are related in these ways, an economic, business or political development which affects one security could also affect the other related securities. This investment practice may subject a Fund to greater risks than a fund which does not concentrate its assets in this manner.
Subsequent to its purchase by a Fund, an issue of rated municipal obligations may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by the Fund. Neither event will require the sale of such municipal obligations by the Fund. To the extent that the ratings given by Moody’s or S&P for municipal obligations may change as a result of changes in such organizations or their rating systems, the Fund will attempt to use comparable ratings as standards for its investments in accordance with the investment policies contained in the Prospectus and this SAI. See Appendix A to this SAI for a more detailed discussion of securities ratings.
Municipal bonds are generally considered riskier investments than U.S. Treasury securities. Contrary to historical trends, in recent years, the market has encountered downgrades, increased rates of default and lower yields on municipal bonds. This is a product of significant reductions in revenues for many states and municipalities as well as residual effects of a generally weakened economy.
Private Investments in Public Companies
A Fund may acquire common stock or a security convertible into common stock, such as a warrant or convertible preferred stock, directly from an issuer seeking to raise capital in a private placement pursuant to Regulation D under the Securities Act. These transactions are commonly referred to as a private placement in a publicly held company, or “PIPE.” The issuer’s common stock is usually publicly traded on a U.S. securities exchange or in the OTC market, but the securities acquired will be subject to restrictions on resale imposed by U.S. securities laws absent an effective registration statement. In recognition of the illiquid nature of the securities being acquired, the purchase price paid in a PIPE transaction (or the conversion price of the convertible securities being acquired) will typically be fixed at a discount to the prevailing market price of the issuer’s common stock at the time of the transaction. As part of a PIPE transaction, the issuer usually will be contractually obligated to seek to register within an agreed upon period of time for public resale under the U.S. securities laws the common stock or the shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the convertible securities. If the issuer fails to so register the shares within that period, the buyer may be entitled to additional consideration from the issuer (e.g. warrants to acquire additional shares of common stock), but the buyer may not be able to sell its shares unless and until the registration process is successfully completed. Thus PIPE transactions present certain risks not associated with open market purchases of equities.
Among the risks associated with PIPE transactions is the risk that the issuer may be unable to register the shares for public resale in a timely manner or at all, in which case the shares may be sold only in a privately negotiated transaction, typically at a price less than that paid, assuming a suitable buyer can be found. Disposing of the securities may involve time-consuming negotiation and legal expenses, and selling them promptly at an acceptable price may be difficult or impossible. Even if the shares are registered for public resale, the market for the issuer’s securities may nevertheless be “thin” or illiquid, making the sale of securities at desired prices or in desired quantities difficult or impossible.
While private placements may offer attractive opportunities not otherwise available in the open market, the securities purchased are usually “restricted securities” or are “not readily marketable.” Restricted securities cannot be sold without being registered under the Securities Act, unless they are sold pursuant to an exemption from registration (such as Rules 144 or 144A under the Securities Act). Securities that are not readily marketable are subject to other legal or contractual restrictions on resale.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies
A Fund may invest in stock, warrants and other securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”). A SPAC is typically a publicly traded company that raises funds through an initial public offering (“IPO”) for the purpose of acquiring or merging with another company to be identified subsequent to the SPAC’s IPO. If a Fund purchases shares of a SPAC in an IPO it will generally bear a sales commission, which may be significant. The securities of a SPAC are often issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares. Unless and until a transaction is completed, a SPAC generally invests its assets (less a portion retained to cover expenses) in U.S. government securities, money market funds and similar investments whose returns or yields may be significantly lower than those of a Fund’s other investments. If an acquisition or merger that meets the requirements for the SPAC is not completed within a pre-established period of time, the invested funds are returned to the SPAC’s shareholders, less certain permitted expenses, and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC will expire worthless.
Because SPACs and similar entities are in essence “blank check” companies without operating history or ongoing business other than seeking acquisitions, the value of their securities is particularly dependent on the ability of the entity’s management to identify and
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complete a profitable acquisition. An investment in a SPAC is subject to a variety of risks, including that (i) a portion of the monies raised by the SPAC for the purpose of effecting an acquisition or merger may be expended prior to the transaction for payment of taxes and other expenses; (ii) a Fund generally will not receive significant income from its investments in SPACs (both prior to and after any acquisition or merger) and, therefore, the Fund’s investments in SPACs will not significantly contribute to the Fund’s distributions to shareholders; (iii)  an attractive acquisition or merger target may not be identified at all or a proposed merger or acquisition may be unable to obtain the requisite approval, if any, of SPAC shareholders and/or antitrust and securities regulators; (iv) the warrants or other rights with respect to the SPAC held by a Fund may expire worthless or may be redeemed by the SPAC at an unfavorable price; (v) the Fund may be subject to opportunity costs to the extent that alternative investments would have produced higher returns; (vi) an acquisition or merger once effected may prove unsuccessful and an investment in the SPAC may lose value; (vii) while a SPAC is seeking a transaction target, its stock may be thinly traded and/or illiquid and there can be no assurance that a market will develop, leaving a Fund unable to sell its interest in a SPAC or to sell its interest only at a price below what the Fund believes is the SPAC interest’s intrinsic value (viii) an investment in a SPAC may be diluted by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising existing rights to purchase shares of the SPAC; and (ix) the values of investments in SPACs may be highly volatile and may depreciate significantly over time. The proceeds of a SPAC IPO that are placed in trust are subject to risks, including the risk of insolvency of the custodian of the funds, fraud by the trustee, interest rate risk and credit and liquidity risk relating to the securities and money market funds in which the proceeds are invested.
Restricted Securities
Restricted securities are securities that generally can be sold in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act, or in a registered public offering. Where registration is required, a Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expense and a considerable period may elapse between the time it decides to seek registration and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, a Fund might obtain a less favorable price than that which prevailed when it decided to seek registration of the shares.
Subject to limitations on illiquid investments, the Funds may invest in restricted securities without limit.
Tobacco Settlement Revenue Bonds
Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are secured by an issuing state’s proportionate share in the Master Settlement Agreement entered into between 48 states and certain U.S. tobacco manufacturers, which together represent approximately 99% of the current combined market share of tobacco manufacturers (the “MSA”). The MSA provides for payments annually by the manufacturers to the states and jurisdictions in perpetuity, in exchange for releasing all claims against the manufacturers and a pledge of no further litigation. Tobacco manufacturers pay into a master escrow trust based on their market share, and each state receives a fixed percentage of the payment as set forth in the MSA.
A number of states have securitized the future flow of those payments by selling bonds pursuant to indentures, some through distinct governmental entities created for such purpose. The bonds are backed by the future revenue flow that is used for principal and interest payments on the bonds. Annual payments on the bonds, and thus risk to the Fund, are highly dependent on the receipt of future settlement payments to the state or its governmental entity, as well as several other factors. The actual amount of future settlement payments, therefore, is dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, annual domestic cigarette shipments, cigarette consumption, inflation and the financial capability of participating tobacco companies. Ongoing legal challenges to the MSA, a decrease in tobacco consumption, market share loss by participating tobacco companies and bankruptcy could negatively impact the ability of the tobacco companies to make payments.
Yankee Securities
Yankee securities are debt securities issued by non-U.S. corporate or government entities, but are denominated in U.S. dollars. Yankee securities trade and may be settled in U.S. markets.
Additional Risk Factors and Special Considerations
Portfolio Turnover. Many of the Funds have experienced high rates of portfolio turnover in recent years and may experience high rates of portfolio turnover in the future. Portfolio turnover generally involves a number of direct and indirect costs and expenses to a Fund, including, for example, dealer markups and bid/asked spreads and transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. Such costs have the effect of reducing a Fund’s investment return. A higher portfolio turnover rate can cause a Fund to realize increased capital gains including short-term capital gains, taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them.
Temporary Defensive Strategies. At times, an Adviser may judge that market conditions make pursuing a Fund’s basic investment strategy inconsistent with the best interests of its shareholders. At such times, an Adviser may (but will not necessarily), without notice,
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temporarily use alternative strategies, primarily designed to reduce fluctuations in the values of the Fund’s assets. In implementing these “defensive strategies,” a Fund may hold assets in cash and cash equivalents and in other investments an Adviser believes to be consistent with the Fund’s best interests. If any such a temporary defensive strategy is implemented, a Fund may not achieve its investment objective.
New or Smaller Funds. Funds with limited operating history and/or small asset base may involve additional risk. For example, there can be no assurance that a new or smaller Fund will grow to or maintain an economically viable size. Should a Fund not grow to or maintain an economically viable size, the Board may determine to liquidate the Fund. Although the interests of shareholders in each Fund are the principal concern of the Board, in the event the Board determines to liquidate a Fund, the timing of any possible liquidation might not be favorable to certain individual shareholders.
Impact of Activity by Other Shareholders. The Funds, like all mutual funds, pool the investments of many investors. Actions by one shareholder or multiple shareholders may have an impact on the Fund and, therefore, indirectly on other shareholders. For example, significant levels of new investments in the Fund by shareholders may cause the Fund to have more cash than would otherwise be the case, which may have a positive or negative impact on Fund performance. Similarly, redemption activity might cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities, which may increase transaction costs that, in effect, would be borne by all shareholders, not just the redeeming shareholders. The sale of portfolio securities to cover redemption requests may accelerate the realization of income and cause a Fund to make taxable distributions to shareholders earlier than the Fund otherwise could have. In addition, under certain circumstances, non-redeeming shareholders may be treated as receiving a disproportionately large taxable distribution during or with respect to a year in which there are large redemptions. To the extent a larger shareholder invests in a Fund or the markets are highly volatile, the Fund may experience large inflows or outflows of cash from time to time. This activity could magnify these adverse effects on the Fund.
Recent Market Conditions and Events
Global economies and financial markets are increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely affect issuers in another country or region. Geopolitical and other risks, including war, terrorism, trade disputes, political or economic dysfunction within some nations, public health crises and related geopolitical events, as well as environmental disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods, may add to instability in world economies and markets generally. Changes in trade policies and international trade agreements could affect the economies of many countries in unpredictable ways. Likewise, systemic market dislocations of the kind that occurred during the financial crisis that began in 2008, if repeated, would be highly disruptive to economies and markets, adversely affecting individual companies and industries, securities markets, interest rates, credit ratings, inflation, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of a Fund’s investments.
Political and diplomatic events within the United States, including a contentious domestic political environment, changes in political party control of one or more branches of the U.S. government, the U.S. government's inability at times to agree on a long-term budget and deficit reduction plan, the threat of a U.S. government shutdown, and disagreements over, or threats not to increase, the U.S. government's borrowing limit (or “debt ceiling”), as well as political and diplomatic events abroad, may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree. A downgrade of the ratings of U.S. government debt obligations, or concerns about the U.S. government's credit quality in general, could have a substantial negative effect on the U.S. and global economies. Moreover, although the U.S. government has honored its credit obligations, there remains a possibility that the United States could default on its obligations. The consequences of such an unprecedented event are impossible to predict, but it is likely that a default by the United States would be highly disruptive to the U.S. and global securities markets and could significantly impair the value of the Funds’ investments.
Certain illnesses spread rapidly and have the potential to significantly and adversely affect the global economy and the value of a Fund’s investments. Outbreaks of illnesses and diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), influenza of various types and, most recently, COVID-19, or other similarly infectious diseases, may have material adverse impacts on a Fund and its performance. Epidemics and/or pandemics, such as COVID-19, have and may further result in, among other things, border closings and other significant travel restrictions and disruptions, significant disruptions to business operations, supply chains and customer activity, significant challenges to healthcare service preparation and delivery, and quarantines and stay-at-home orders, as well as general concern and uncertainty that has negatively affected the economic environment. These impacts have caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. The impact of COVID-19, and other epidemics and/or pandemics that may arise in the future, and may affect the economies of many nations, individual companies and the global securities and commodities markets, including their liquidity, in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. Historical patterns of correlation among asset classes may break down in unanticipated ways during times of high volatility, disrupting investment programs and potentially causing losses. The impact of public health crises, including COVID-19, may continue to last for an extended period of time.
The U.S. government and certain foreign central banks have taken a variety of unprecedented actions to stabilize the economy and calm the financial markets and may continue to do so, but the ultimate impact of these efforts and interventions is uncertain. In the future, the U.S. government or other governments may take actions that could affect the overall economy as well as the securities in which
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a Fund invests, the markets in which they trade, or the issuers of such securities, in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve (the “Fed”), have in the past responded to major economic disruptions with a variety of significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including but not limited to, direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs, and changes to interest rates. Certain of those policy changes, for example, were implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fed has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to keep credit flowing through short-term money markets since mid-September 2019 when a shortage of liquidity caused a spike in overnight borrowing rates, and again in 2020 with large stimulus initiatives intended to respond to economic stresses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of infectious diseases in developing and emerging market countries, however, may be greater due to less established health care systems and fewer government resources to bolster their economies. Public health crises may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social, and economic risks in certain countries.
Instability in the global capital markets may result in disruptions in liquidity in the debt capital markets, significant write-offs in the financial services sector (including banking), the repricing of credit risk in credit markets and the failure of domestic and international financial institutions. Precise interest rate predictions are difficult to make, and interest rates may change unexpectedly and dramatically in response to extreme changes in market or economic conditions. As a result, the value of fixed income securities may vary widely under certain market conditions and may result in heightened market volatility and a decline in the value of a Fund’s portfolio. Changes in government policies or central banks could negatively affect the value and liquidity of a Fund’s investments and cause it to lose money. The markets could react strongly to expectations for changes in government policies, which could increase volatility, especially if the market’s expectations are not borne out. There can be no assurance that the initiatives undertaken by governments and central banks will be successful.
COVID-19, and future epidemics or pandemics, could also impair the information technology and other operational systems upon which a Fund’s service providers rely, and could otherwise disrupt the ability of a Fund’s service providers to perform essential tasks. These could impair a Fund’s ability to maintain operational standards (such as with respect to satisfying redemption requests), disrupt the operations of a Fund’s service providers, and negatively impact a Fund’s performance. In certain cases, an exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on either specific securities or even the entire market, which may result in a Fund being, among other things, unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments or accurately value its investments.
Markets generally and the energy sector specifically, including MLPs and energy companies in which a Fund may invest, may also be adversely impacted by reduced demand for oil and other energy commodities as a result of a slowdown in economic activity and by price competition among key oil producing countries. In the recent past, global oil prices have declined significantly and experienced significant volatility, including a period where an oil-price futures contract fell into negative territory for the first time in history, as demand for oil has slowed and oil storage facilities reach their storage capacities. Although the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil-producing countries responded, oil price volatility may adversely impact MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. Such companies’ growth prospects and ability to pay dividends may be negatively impacted, which could adversely impact a Fund's performance. Additionally, an extended period of reduced oil prices may significantly lengthen the time the energy sector would need to recover after a stabilization of prices.
Some countries, including the United States, are adopting more protectionist trade policies and are moving away from the tighter financial industry regulations that followed the 2008 financial crisis. The United States may also be considering significant new investments in infrastructure and national defense which, coupled with potentially lower federal taxes, could lead to sharply increased government borrowing and higher interest rates. The exact shape of these policies is still being considered through the political process, but the equity and debt markets may react strongly to expectations, which could increase volatility, especially if the market’s expectations for changes in government policies are not borne out.
High public debt in the United States and other countries creates ongoing systemic and market risks and policymaking uncertainty. There may be additional increases in the amount of debt due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because there is little precedent for this situation, it is difficult to predict the impact on various markets. Over the longer term, rising interest rates may present a greater risk than has historically been the case due to the recent period of historically low rates, the effect of government fiscal and monetary policy initiatives, and potential market reactions to those initiatives.
Some countries where economic conditions are still recovering from the 2008 crisis are perceived as still fragile. The crisis caused strains among countries in the euro-zone that have not been fully resolved, and it is not yet clear what measures, if any, European Union (“EU”) or individual country officials may take in response. Withdrawal of government support, failure of efforts in response to the strains, or investor perception that such efforts are not succeeding could adversely impact the value and liquidity of certain securities and currencies.
In addition, global climate change may have an adverse effect on property and security values. A rise in sea levels, an increase in powerful windstorms and/or a storm-driven increase in flooding could cause coastal properties to lose value or become unmarketable altogether. Large wildfires driven by high winds and prolonged drought may devastate entire communities and may be very costly to any business found to be responsible for the fire or conducting operations in affected areas. These losses could adversely affect
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corporate borrowers and mortgage lenders, the value of mortgage-backed securities, the bonds of municipalities that depend on tax revenues and tourist dollars generated by such properties, and insurers of the property and/or of corporate, municipal, or mortgage-backed securities. Since property and security values are driven largely by buyers’ perceptions, it is difficult to know the time period over which these effects might unfold. Economists warn that, unlike previous declines in the real estate market, properties in affected coastal zones may never recover their value. Regulatory changes and divestment movements tied to concerns about climate change could adversely affect the value of certain land and the viability of industries whose activities or products are seen as accelerative to climate change.
Some market participants have expressed concern that passively managed index funds and other indexed products inflate the value of their component securities. If the component securities in such indices decline in value for this and other reasons, the value of a Fund’s investments in these securities will also decline.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and corresponding events in late February 2022, have had, and could continue to have, severe adverse effects on regional and global economic markets for securities and commodities. Following Russia’s actions, various governments, including the United States, have issued broad-ranging economic sanctions against Russia, including, among other actions, a prohibition on doing business with certain Russian companies, large financial institutions, officials and oligarchs; the removal by certain countries and the EU of selected Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), the electronic banking network that connects banks globally; and restrictive measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from undermining the impact of the sanctions. The current events, including sanctions and the potential for future sanctions, including any impacting Russia’s energy sector, and other actions, and Russia’s retaliatory responses to those sanctions and actions, may continue to adversely impact the Russian and Ukrainian economies and may result in the further decline of the value and liquidity of Russian and Ukrainian securities, a continued weakening of the ruble and hryvnia and continued exchange closures, and may have other adverse consequences on the Russian and Ukrainian economies that could impact the value of these investments and impair the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. Moreover, those events have, and could continue to have, an adverse effect on global markets performance and liquidity, thereby negatively affecting the value of a Fund’s investments beyond any direct exposure to Russian and Ukrainian issuers. The duration of ongoing hostilities and the vast array of sanctions and related events cannot be predicted. Those events present material uncertainty and risk with respect to markets globally and the performance of the Funds and their investments or operations could be negatively impacted.
Risks Related to Cybersecurity. The Funds and their service providers have administrative and technical safeguards in place with respect to information security. Nevertheless, the Funds and their service providers are potentially susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from a cyber-attack as the Funds are highly dependent upon the effective operation of their computer systems and those of their business partners. These risks include, among other things, the theft, misuse, corruption and destruction of data maintained online or digitally, denial of service on websites and other operational disruption and unauthorized release of confidential customer information. Cyber-attacks affecting the Adviser, Victory Capital Services, Inc. (the “Distributor,”), the Funds, the custodian, the transfer agent, financial intermediaries and other affiliated or third-party service providers may adversely affect the Funds and their shareholders. For instance, cyber-attacks may interfere with the processing of Fund transactions, including the processing of orders, impact a Fund’s ability to calculate net asset values, cause the release and possible destruction of confidential customer or business information, impede trading, subject a Fund and/or its service providers and intermediaries to regulatory fines and financial losses and/or cause reputational damage. Cybersecurity risks may also affect the issuers of securities in which a Fund invests, which may cause a Fund’s investments to lose value. A Fund may also incur additional costs for cybersecurity risk management in the future. Although the Funds and their service providers have adopted security procedures to minimize the risk of a cyber-attack, there can be no assurance that the Funds or their service providers will avoid losses affecting the Funds due to cyber-attacks or information security breaches in the future.
Responsible Investing Risk. A Fund may incorporate specific responsible, environmental, social and governance (“ESG”), impact or sustainability considerations into its investment objectives, strategies, and/or processes, as described in the applicable Fund's Prospectus. These considerations will vary depending on a Fund's particular investment strategy and the investment process followed by the particular investment team that manages the Fund. A team may include consideration of third-party research as well as consideration of proprietary research across the ESG risks and opportunities regarding an issuer. The investment team considers those ESG characteristics it deems relevant or additive when making investment decisions for a Fund. The ESG characteristics utilized in a Fund's investment process are anticipated to evolve over time and one or more characteristics may not be relevant with respect to all issuers that are eligible for investment.
ESG characteristics are not the sole considerations when making investment decisions for a Fund. Further, investors can differ in their views of what constitutes positive or negative ESG characteristics. As a result, a Fund may invest in issuers that do not reflect the beliefs and values with respect to ESG of any particular investor. ESG considerations may affect a Fund's exposure to certain companies or industries and a Fund may forego certain investment opportunities. While the Adviser views ESG considerations as having the potential to contribute to a Fund's long-term performance, there is no guarantee that such results will be achieved.
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Brexit. The United Kingdom (“UK”) ceased to be a member of the EU on January 31, 2020 (“Brexit”). During a prescribed period (the “Transition Period”), certain transitional arrangements were in effect, such that the UK continued to be treated, in most respects, as if it were still a member of the EU, and generally remained subject to EU law. The Transition Period ended on December 31, 2020. On December 24, 2020, the EU and the UK reached an agreement in principle on the terms of certain agreements and declarations governing the ongoing relationship between the EU and the UK, including the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Agreement entered into force on May 1, 2021. The Agreement is limited in its scope primarily to the trade of goods, transport, energy links and fishing, and uncertainties remain relating to certain aspects of the UK’s future economic, trading, and legal relationships with the EU and with other countries. The actual or potential consequences of Brexit, and the associated uncertainty, could adversely affect economic and market conditions in the UK, in the EU and its member states and elsewhere, and could contribute to instability in global financial markets.
The impact of such events on the Funds is difficult to predict but they may adversely affect the return on the Funds and their investments. There may be detrimental implications for the value of a Fund’s investments, its ability to enter into transactions or to value or realize such investments or otherwise to implement its investment program. It is possible that a Fund’s investments may need to be restructured to enable a Fund's objectives to be pursued fully. This may increase costs or make it more difficult for a Fund to pursue its investment objective.
Reference Rate Transition Risk. The London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) had historically been the principal floating rate benchmark in the financial markets. However, LIBOR is being discontinued as a floating rate benchmark, although certain synthetic U.S. dollar LIBOR tenors will be published through September 30, 2024, for certain legacy contracts. Then-existing LIBOR obligations have been transitioned or will transition to another benchmark, depending on the LIBOR currency and tenor. For some existing LIBOR-based obligations, the contractual consequences of the discontinuation of LIBOR may not be clear.
As an alternative to LIBOR, the market has generally coalesced around the use of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as a replacement for U.S. dollar LIBOR. Various SOFR-based rates, including SOFR-based term rates, and various non-SOFR-based rates have developed in response to the discontinuation of U.S. dollar LIBOR, which may create various risks for the Fund and the financial markets more generally. There are non-LIBOR forward-looking floating rates that are not based on SOFR and that may be considered by participants in the financial markets as LIBOR alternatives. Unlike forward-looking SOFR-based term rates, such rates are intended reflect a bank credit spread component.
Non-LIBOR floating rate obligations, including obligations based on the SOFR, may have returns and values that fluctuate more than those of floating rate debt obligations that are based on LIBOR or other rates. Also, because SOFR and some alternative floating rates are relatively new market indexes, markets for certain non-LIBOR obligations may never develop or may not be liquid. Market terms for non-LIBOR floating rate obligations, such as the spread over the index reflected in interest rate provisions, may evolve over time, and prices of non-LIBOR floating rate obligations may be different depending on when they are issued and changing views about correct spread levels.
It is not clear how replacement rates for LIBOR–including SOFR-based rates and non-SOFR-based rates–will continue to develop and to what extent they will be used. There is no assurance that these replacement rates will be suitable substitutes for LIBOR, and thus the substitution of such rates for LIBOR could have an adverse effect on the Funds and the financial markets more generally. Concerns about market depth and stability could affect the development of non-SOFR-based term rates, and such rates may create various risks, which may or may not be similar to the risks relating to SOFR.
DETERMINING NET ASSET VALUE (“NAV”) AND VALUING PORTFOLIO SECURITIES
Each Fund’s NAV is determined, and the shares of each Fund are priced normally as of the valuation time(s) indicated in the Prospectus on each Business Day. A “Business Day” is a day on which the NYSE is open. The Fixed Income Funds are authorized to close earlier than is customary for a Business Day upon the recommendation of both the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Adviser. In the event that a Fixed Income Fund closes earlier than is customary for a Business Day, the Fund’s NAV calculation for that day will occur as of the time of the earlier close.  The NYSE generally is closed in observance of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. In addition to closing in observance of the same holidays as the NYSE, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is also closed on Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
In the event of an emergency or other disruption in trading on the NYSE, a Fund’s share price normally will be determined based upon the close of the NYSE. In the event of an emergency or other disruption in trading on the bond market, the Fixed Income Fund's share price normally will be determined based upon the close of the bond market. 
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The Funds generally value their investments based upon their last reported sale prices, market quotations, or estimates of value provided by an independent pricing service as of the time as of which a Fund’s share price is calculated. The Board has designated the Adviser as the “valuation designee” in accordance with Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act.
Fixed Income Securities
Fixed income securities held by a Fund are valued on the basis of security valuations provided by an independent pricing service, approved by the Board, that determines value by using, among other things, information with respect to transactions of a security, quotations from dealers, market transactions in comparable securities and various relationships between securities. Specific investment securities that are not priced by the approved pricing service will be valued according to quotations obtained from dealers who are market makers in those securities. Investment securities with less than 60 days to maturity when purchased are valued at amortized cost that approximates market value. Investment securities not having readily available market quotations will be priced at fair value using a methodology approved in good faith by the Board or its designee in accordance with applicable Rules under the 1940 Act subject to Board oversight.
Convertible Fixed Income Securities
Convertible fixed income securities are valued in the same manner as any fixed income security. Non-convertible fixed income securities are valued on the basis of prices provided by independent pricing services. Prices provided by the pricing service may be determined without exclusive reliance on quoted prices and may reflect appropriate factors such as institution-sized trading in similar groups of securities, developments related to special securities, yield, quality, coupon rate, maturity, type of issue, individual trading characteristics, and other market data. Securities for which market quotations are not readily available are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Trust’s officers in a manner specially authorized by the Board or its designee in accordance with applicable Rules under the 1940 Act, subject to Board oversight. Short-term obligations having 60 days or less to maturity are valued on the basis of amortized cost, except for convertible fixed income securities.
Equity Securities
Each equity security (including ETFs) held by a Fund is valued at the closing price on the exchange where the security is principally traded. Each security traded in the over-the-counter market (but not including securities the trading activity of which is reported on Nasdaq’s Automated Confirmation Transaction (“ACT”) System) is valued at the bid based upon quotes furnished by market makers for such securities. Each security the trading activity of which is reported on Nasdaq’s ACT System is valued at the Nasdaq Official Closing Price.
Futures and Options Contracts
For purposes of determining NAV, futures and options contracts generally will be valued 15 minutes after the close of trading of the NYSE.
Funds that Invest a Significant Amount of their Assets in Foreign Securities
Time zone arbitrage. Funds that invest a significant amount of their assets in foreign securities may be exposed to attempts by investors to engage in “time-zone arbitrage.” Using this technique, investors seek to take advantage of differences in the values of foreign securities that might result from events that occur after the close of the foreign securities market on which a security is traded and before the close of the NYSE that day, when the Funds calculate their NAV.
If successful, time zone arbitrage might dilute the interests of other shareholders. The Funds use “fair value pricing” under certain circumstances, to adjust the closing market prices of foreign securities to reflect what the Board or its designee in accordance with applicable Rules under the 1940 Act subject to Board oversight considers to be their fair value. Fair value pricing may also help to deter time zone arbitrage.
Fair Value Pricing
If market quotations are not readily available, or (in the Adviser’s judgment) do not accurately reflect the fair value of a security, or if after the close of the principal market on which a security held by a Fund is traded and before the time as of which the Funds’ net asset value is calculated that day, an event occurs that the Adviser learns of and believes in the exercise of its judgment will cause a material change in the value of that security from the closing price of the security on the principal market on which it is traded, that security may be valued by another method that the Board or its designee in accordance with applicable Rules under the 1940 Act subject to Board oversight believes would more accurately reflect the security’s fair value.
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The Funds’ use of fair value pricing procedures involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determined for a security may be materially different from the value that could be realized upon the sale of that security. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that a Fund will obtain the fair value assigned to a security if it were to sell the security at approximately the same time at which the Fund determines its NAV per share.
Other Valuation Information
Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is required to act in good faith in determining the fair value of portfolio securities. The SEC has recognized that a security’s valuation may differ depending on the method used for determining value. The fair value ascertained for a security is an estimate and there is no assurance, given the limited information available at the time of fair valuation, that a security’s fair value will be the same as or close to the subsequent opening market price for that security.
The Board has adopted valuation procedures for the Funds and has delegated the day-to-day responsibility for fair valuation determinations to the Adviser and the Adviser’s Pricing Committee. Those determinations may include consideration of recent transactions in comparable securities, information relating to a specific security, developments in and performance of foreign securities markets, current valuations of foreign or U.S. indices, and adjustment coefficients based on fair value models developed by independent service providers. The Adviser may, for example, adjust the value of portfolio securities based on fair value models supplied by the service provider when the Adviser believes that the adjustments better reflect actual prices as of the close of the NYSE.
Generally, trading in foreign securities, corporate bonds, U.S. government securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund’s shares generally are determined at such times. Foreign currency exchange rates are also generally determined prior the close of the NYSE. Occasionally, events affecting the values of such securities and such exchange rates may occur between the times at which such values are determined and the close of the NYSE. If events affecting the value of securities occur during such a period, and the Fund’s NAV is materially affected by such changes in the value of the securities, then these securities will be valued at their fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Board. Other securities and assets for which market quotations are not readily available or for which valuation cannot be provided are valued as determined in good faith in accordance with procedures approved by the Board or its designee in accordance with applicable Rules under the 1940 Act subject to Board oversight.
ADDITIONAL PURCHASE, EXCHANGE AND REDEMPTION INFORMATION
The NYSE holiday closing schedule indicated in this SAI under “Determining Net Asset Value (“NAV”) and Valuing Portfolio Securities” is subject to change. When the NYSE is closed or when trading is restricted for any reason other than its customary weekend or holiday closings, or under emergency circumstances as determined by the SEC to warrant such action, the Funds may not be able to accept purchase or redemption requests. A Fund’s NAV may be affected to the extent that its securities are traded on days that are not Business Days. Each Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase order in whole or in part.
The Trust has elected, pursuant to Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act, to redeem shares of each Fund solely in cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1.00% of the NAV of the Fund during any 90-day period for any one shareholder. The remaining portion of the redemption may be made in securities or other property, valued for this purpose as they are valued in computing the NAV of each class of the Fund. Shareholders receiving securities or other property on redemption may realize a gain or loss for tax purposes and may incur additional costs as well as the associated inconveniences of holding and/or disposing of such securities or other property.
Pursuant to Rule 11a-3 under the 1940 Act, the Funds are required to give shareholders at least 60 days’ notice prior to terminating or modifying a Fund’s exchange privilege. The 60-day notification requirement may, however, be waived if (1) the only effect of a modification would be to reduce or eliminate an administrative fee, redemption fee, or CDSC ordinarily payable at the time of exchange or (2) a Fund temporarily suspends the offering of shares as permitted under the 1940 Act or by the SEC or because it is unable to invest amounts effectively in accordance with its investment objective and policies.
The Funds reserve the right at any time without prior notice to shareholders to refuse exchange purchases by any person or group if, in the Adviser’s judgment, a Fund would be unable to invest effectively in accordance with its investment objective and policies, or would otherwise be adversely affected.
Each Fund has authorized one or more brokers or other financial services institutions to accept on its behalf purchase and redemption orders. Such brokers or other financial services institutions are authorized to designate plan administrators and other intermediaries to accept purchase and redemption orders on a Fund’s behalf. A Fund will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order when an authorized broker or other financial services institutions, or, if applicable, a broker’s or other financial services institutions authorized designee, accepts the order. Customer orders will be priced at each Fund’s NAV next computed after they are accepted by an authorized broker or other financial services institutions or the broker’s or other financial services institution’s authorized designee.
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If you hold your Fund shares in an account established with a financial intermediary, contact your financial intermediary in advance of placing a request for an exchange to confirm your ability to exchange with a particular Victory Fund.
Purchasing Shares
Alternative Sales Arrangements — Class A, C, R, R6, Y, and Member Class Shares. Alternative sales arrangements permit an investor to choose the method of purchasing shares that is more beneficial depending on the amount of the purchase, the length of time the investor expects to hold shares and other relevant circumstances. When comparing the classes of shares, when more than one is offered in the same Fund, investors should understand that the purpose and function of the Class C and Class R shares asset-based sales charge are the same as those of the Class A initial sales charge. Any salesperson or other person entitled to receive compensation for selling Fund shares may receive different compensation with respect to one class of shares in comparison to another class of shares. Generally, Class A shares have lower ongoing expenses than Class C shares, but are subject to an initial sales charge. Which class would be advantageous to an investor depends on the number of years the shares will be held. Over very long periods of time, the lower expenses of Class A shares may offset the cost of the Class A initial sales charge. Not all Investment Professionals (as described in each Fund’s Prospectus) will offer all classes of shares.
Each class of shares represents interests in the same portfolio investments of a Fund. However, each class has different shareholder privileges and features. The net income attributable to a particular class and the dividends payable on these shares will be reduced by incremental expenses borne solely by that class, including any asset-based sales charge to which these shares may be subject.
No initial sales charge is imposed on Class C shares. The Distributor may pay sales commissions to dealers and institutions who sell Class C shares of the Funds at the time of such sales. Payments with respect to Class C shares will equal 1.00% of the purchase price of the Class C shares sold by the dealer or institution. The Distributor will retain all payments received by it relating to Class C shares for the first year after they are purchased. After the first full year, the Distributor will make monthly payments in the amount of 0.75% for distribution services and 0.25% for personal shareholder services to dealers and institutions based on the average NAV of Class C shares, which are attributable to shareholders for whom the dealers and institutions are designated as dealers of record. Some of the compensation paid to dealers and institutions is recouped through the CDSC imposed on shares redeemed within 12 months of their purchase. Class C shares are subject to the Rule 12b-1 fees described in the SAI under “Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plans.” Class C shares of the Funds will automatically convert to Class A shares under circumstances described in the Funds’ Prospectuses. Financial institutions may be permitted to exchange Class C shares for a share class with lower expenses under circumstances described in a Fund’s Prospectus. Any options with respect to the reinvestment of distributions made by the Funds to Class C shareholders are offered only by the broker through whom the shares were acquired.
No initial sales charges or CDSCs are imposed on Class R shares. Class R shares are subject to the Rule 12b-1 fees described in this SAI under “Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plans.” There is no automatic conversion feature applicable to Class R shares. Distributions paid to holders of a Fund’s Class R shares may be reinvested in additional Class R shares of that Fund or Class R shares of a different Fund. Only certain investors are eligible to buy Class R shares, as set forth in the Prospectus, and your financial adviser or other financial intermediary can help you determine whether you are eligible to invest.
No initial sales charges or CDSCs are imposed on Class R6 shares. Class R6 shares are not subject to the Rule 12b-1 fees described in this SAI under “Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plans.” There is no automatic conversion feature applicable to Class R6 shares. Distributions paid to holders of a Fund’s Class R6 shares may be reinvested in additional Class R6 shares of that Fund or Class R6 shares of a different Fund. Class A shareholders, Class C shareholders whose shares are not subject to a CDSC and Class I shareholders may exchange into Class R6 shares of a Fund offering such shares provided they meet the eligibility requirements applicable to Class R6. Only certain investors are eligible to buy Class R6 shares, as set forth in a Fund’s Prospectus, and your financial adviser or other financial intermediary can help you determine whether you are eligible to invest.
No initial sales charges or CDSCs are imposed on Class Y shares. Class Y shares are not subject to the Rule 12b-1 fees described in this SAI under “Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plans.” There is no automatic conversion feature applicable to Class Y shares. Distributions paid to holders of a Fund’s Class Y shares may be reinvested in additional Class Y shares of that Fund or Class Y shares of a different Fund. Only certain investors are eligible to buy Class Y shares, as set forth in a Fund’s Prospectus, and your financial adviser or other financial intermediary can help you determine whether you are eligible to invest.
Each Fund reserves the right to change the criteria for eligible investors and the investment minimums related to each class of shares. Each Fund also reserves the right to refuse a purchase order for any reason, including if it believes that doing so would be in the best interest of the Fund and shareholders.
The methodology for calculating the NAV, dividends and distributions of the share classes of each Fund recognizes two types of expenses. General expenses that do not pertain specifically to a class are allocated to the shares of each class, based upon the percentage that the net assets of such class bears to a Fund’s total net assets and then pro rata to each outstanding share within a given class. Such general expenses include (1) management fees, (2) legal, bookkeeping and audit fees, (3) printing and mailing costs of shareholder
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reports, prospectuses, statements of additional information and other materials for current shareholders, (4) fees to the Trustees who are not affiliated with the Adviser, (5) custodian expenses, (6) share issuance costs, (7) organization and start-up costs, (8) interest, taxes and brokerage commissions, and (9) non-recurring expenses, such as litigation costs. Other expenses that are directly attributable to a class are allocated equally to each outstanding share within that class. Such expenses include (1) Rule 12b-1 distribution fees and shareholder servicing fees, (2) incremental transfer and shareholder servicing agent fees and expenses, (3) registration fees, and (4) shareholder meeting expenses, to the extent that such expenses pertain to a specific class rather than to a Fund as a whole.
Dealer Reallowances. The following table shows the amount of the front-end sales load that is reallowed to dealers as a percentage of the offering price of Class A shares of all Funds except the Fixed Income Funds.
Amount of
Purchase
Initial Sales Charge:
% of Offering Price
Concession to Dealers:
% of Offering Price
Up to $49,999
5.75%
5.00%
$ 50,000 to $99,999
4.50%
4.00%
$ 100,000 to $249,999
3.50%
3.00%
$ 250,000 to $499,999
2.50%
2.00%
$ 500,000 to $999,999
2.00%
1.75%
$ 1,000,000 and above*
0.00%
**
*
There is no initial sales charge on purchases of $1 million or more; however, a sales concession and/or advance of a Rule 12b-1 fee may be paid and such purchases are potentially subject to a CDSC, as set forth below.
**
Investment Professionals may receive payment on purchases of $1 million or more of Class A shares that are sold at NAV as follows: 0.75% of the current purchase amount if cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is less than $3 million; 0.50% of the current purchase amount if the cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is $3 million to $4,999,999; and 0.25% on of the current purchase amount if the cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is $5 million or more. In addition, in connection with such purchases, the Distributor or its affiliates may advance Rule 12b-1 fees of 0.25% of the purchase amount to Investment Professionals for providing services to shareholders.
Except as noted in this SAI, a CDSC of up to 0.75% may be imposed on any such shares redeemed within the first 18 months after purchase. CDSCs are based on the lower of the cost of the shares or NAV at the time of redemption. No CDSC is imposed on reinvested distributions.
The Distributor reserves the right to pay the entire commission to dealers. If that occurs, the dealer may be considered an “underwriter” under federal securities laws.
The following table shows the amount of the front-end sales load that is reallowed to dealers as a percentage of the offering price of the Class A shares of the Fixed Income Funds.
Your Investment in the Fund
Initial Sales Charge:
% of Offering Price
Concession to Dealers:
% of Offering Price
Up to $99,999
2.25%
2.00%
$100,000 up to $249,999
1.75%
1.50%
$250,000 and above*
0.00%
**
*
There is no initial sales charge on purchases of $250,000 or more; however, a sales concession and/or advance of a Rule 12b-1 fee may be paid and such purchases are potentially subject to a CDSC, as set forth below.
**
Investment Professionals may receive payment on purchases of $250,000 or more of Class A shares that are sold at NAV as follows: 0.75% of the current purchase amount if cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is less than $3 million; 0.50% of the current purchase amount if the cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is $3 million to $4,999,999; and 0.25% on of the current purchase amount if the cumulative prior purchases sold at NAV plus the current purchase is $5 million or more. In addition, in connection with such purchases, the Distributor or its affiliates may advance Rule 12b-1 fees of 0.25% of the purchase amount to Investment Professionals for providing services to shareholders.
Except as noted in this SAI, a CDSC of up to 0.75% may be imposed on any such shares redeemed within the first 18 months after purchase. CDSCs are based on the lower of the cost of the shares or NAV at the time of redemption. No CDSC is imposed on reinvested distributions.
The Distributor reserves the right to pay the entire commission to dealers. If that occurs, the dealer may be considered an “underwriter” under federal securities laws.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries. If you purchase the Fund through a financial intermediary (including broker-dealers, banks, third party administrators, retirement plan record-keepers, or other financial intermediaries) the Fund may pay for sub-transfer agent, recordkeeping and/or similar administrative services (administrative services) for all classes other than Class R6. Depending upon the particular share class and/or contractual agreement, these payments may be calculated based on average net assets of the Fund that are serviced by the intermediary or on a per account basis. The administrative services may be related to investments by participants in retirement and benefit plans, investors in mutual fund advisory programs, and clients of financial
33

intermediaries that maintain omnibus or other accounts for their clients. Services provided include but are not limited to the following: transmitting net purchase and redemption orders; maintaining separate records for shareholders that reflect purchases, redemptions and share balances; mailing shareholder confirmations and periodic statements; and furnishing proxy materials and periodic fund reports, prospectuses and other communications to shareholders as required.
In addition, the Adviser (or its affiliates), from its own resources, may make substantial payments to various financial intermediaries for the sale of Fund shares and related services for investments in all classes other than Class R6. The Adviser also may reimburse the Distributor (or the Distributor’s affiliates) for making these payments. Depending on the particular share class and/or contractual arrangement, these payments may be calculated based on average net assets of the Fund that are serviced by the intermediary or on a per account basis.
These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the financial intermediary and its salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
Sample Calculation of Maximum Offering Price
Class A shares of the Equity Funds are sold with a maximum initial sales charge of 5.75% and Class A shares of the Fixed Income Fund are sold with a maximum initial sales charge of 2.25%. Set forth below is an example of the method of computing the offering price of the Class A shares of the Funds. The example assumes a purchase of Class A shares aggregating less than $50,000 subject to the schedule of sales charges set forth in the Prospectus at a price based upon the NAV of the Class A shares.
Class C shares of each relevant Fund are sold at NAV without any initial sales charges and with a 1.00% CDSC on shares redeemed within 12 months of purchase. Class R, Class R6, Class Y, and Member Class shares of each relevant Fund are sold at NAV without any initial sales charges or CDSCs.
Reinstatement Privilege. Within 90 days of a redemption, a shareholder may reinvest all or part of the redemption proceeds of Class A or Class C shares in the same class of shares of a Fund or any of the other Funds into which shares of the Fund are exchangeable, as described above, at the NAV next computed after receipt by the transfer agent of the reinvestment order. No service charge is currently made for reinvestment in shares of the Funds. Class C share proceeds reinstated do not result in a refund of any CDSC paid by the shareholder, but the reinstated shares will be treated as CDSC exempt upon reinstatement. The shareholder must ask the Distributor for such privilege at the time of reinvestment. Any capital gain that was realized when the shares were redeemed is taxable, even if the proceeds are reinvested. Depending on the timing and amount of a potential reinvestment, some or all of a capital loss from redemption may not be deductible. If the redemption proceeds of Fund shares on which a sales charge was paid are reinvested in shares of the same Fund or another Fund offered by the Trust within 90 days of payment of the sales charge, the shareholder’s basis in the redeemed shares may not include the amount of the sales charge paid. Without the additional basis, the shareholder will have more gain or less loss upon redemption. The Funds may amend, suspend, or cease offering this reinvestment privilege at any time as to shares redeemed after the date of such amendment, suspension, or cessation. The reinstatement must be into an account bearing the same registration.
Redemptions in Kind. Subject to its election under Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act, each Fund reserves the right to honor requests for redemption or repurchase orders by making payment in whole or in part in readily marketable securities (“redemption in kind”) if the amount of such request is large enough to affect operations (for example, if the request is greater than $250,000 or 1% of the Fund’s assets). The securities will be chosen by the Fund and valued at the price used in calculating the Fund’s NAV on the day of redemption. A shareholder may incur transaction expenses in converting these securities to cash.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST
Board Leadership Structure
The Trust is governed by the Board, which is comprised of nine Trustees, eight of whom are not “interested persons” of the Trust within the meaning of that term under the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). The Chair of the Board is an Independent Trustee, who functions as the lead Trustee. The Chair serves as liaison between the Board and its Committees, the Adviser and other service providers. The Chair is actively involved in setting the Board meeting agenda, and participates on certain Board Committees.
Board Role in Risk Oversight
In considering risks related to the Funds, the Board consults and receives reports from officers of the Funds and personnel of the Adviser, who are charged with the day-to-day risk oversight function. Matters regularly reported to the Board or a designated committee include certain risks involving, among other things, the Funds’ investment portfolios, trading practices, operational matters, financial and accounting controls, and legal and regulatory compliance. The Board has delegated to each of the Compliance Committee and Audit and Risk Oversight Committee certain responsibilities for reviewing reports relating to compliance and enterprise risk, including
34

operational risk, liquidity, and personnel. The Board relies on the Investment Committee to review reports relating to investment risks, that is, risks to the Funds resulting from pursuing the Funds’ investment strategies (e.g., credit risk and market risk).
Trustees and Officers
The following tables list the Trustees and Officers, their dates of birth, position with the Trust, length of time served, principal occupations during the past five years and, where applicable, any directorships of other investment companies or companies whose securities are registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“1934 Act”), or who file reports under the 1934 Act. Under the Trust’s organizational documents, each Trustee serves as a Trustee of the Trust during the lifetime of the Trust and until its termination except as such Trustee sooner dies, resigns, retires, is removed, or the appointment of a qualified successor. However, pursuant to a policy adopted by the Board, each elected or appointed Independent Trustee may serve as a Trustee until the Trustee reaches age 80, and the Interested Trustee may serve as a Trustee until the Trustee reaches age 80. The Board may change or grant exceptions from this policy at any time without shareholder approval. Each Trustee’s address is c/o Victory Funds, 15935 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, Texas 78256.
Independent Trustees
Name and
Date of Birth
Position
Held with
the Trust
Date
Commenced
Service
Principal Occupation
During Past 5 Years
Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex
Overseen by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held During
the
Past 5 Years
David Brooks
Adcock,
Born October
1951
Trustee
May 2005
Consultant (since 2006)
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
None
Nigel D.T.
Andrews,
Born April 1947
Trustee
August 2002
Retired
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
Director,
Carlyle Secured
Lending, Inc.
(formerly TCG
BDC I, Inc.)
(since 2012);
Director,
Carlyle Credit
Solutions, Inc.
(formerly TCG
BDC II, Inc.)
(since 2017);
Trustee, Carlyle
Secured
Lending III
(since 2021)
E. Lee Beard*,
Born August
1951
Trustee
May 2005
Retired
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
None
John L. Kelly,
Born April 1953
Chair and
Trustee
February 2015
Managing Partner,
Active Capital
Partners LLC, a
strategic consultant
(since October 2017)
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
Director,
Caledonia
Mining
Corporation
(since May
2012)
35

Name and
Date of Birth
Position
Held with
the Trust
Date
Commenced
Service
Principal Occupation
During Past 5 Years
Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex
Overseen by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held During
the
Past 5 Years
David L. Meyer,
Born April 1957
Trustee
December 2008
Retired
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
None
Gloria S.
Nelund,
Born May 1961
Trustee
July 2016
Chair, CEO, and
Co-Founder of TriLinc
Global, LLC, an
investment firm
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
TriLinc Global
Impact Fund,
LLC (since
2012)
Timothy Pettee,
Born April 1958
Trustee
January 2023
Chief Investment
Officer, Hoya Capital
Real Estate LLC (since
February 2022); Chief
Investment Officer, Sun
America Asset
Management Corp.
(January 2003-July
2021)
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
None
Leigh A. Wilson,
Born December
1944
Trustee
November 1994
Private Investor
70 portfolios comprised
of 37 portfolios in the
Trust, 27 portfolios in
Victory Portfolios II,
and 6 portfolios in
Victory Variable
Insurance Funds
Chair
(2013-2024),
Caledonia
Mining
Corporation
Interested Trustee
Name and
Date of Birth
Position
Held with
the Trust
Date
Commenced
Service
Principal Occupation
During Past 5 Years
Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex
Overseen by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held During
the
Past 5 Years
David C.
Brown**,
Born May 1972
Trustee
May 2008
Chief Executive Officer
and Chairman
(2013-present), Victory
Capital
Management Inc.; Chief
Executive Officer and
Chairman
(2013-present), Victory
Capital Holdings, Inc.;
Director, Victory Capital
Services, Inc. (2013-
present); Director,
Victory Capital Transfer
Agency, Inc. (2019-
present)
115 portfolios
comprised of 37
portfolios in the Trust,
27 portfolios in Victory
Portfolios II, 6
portfolios in Victory
Variable Insurance
Funds, and 45 portfolios
in Victory Portfolios III.
Trustee, Victory
Portfolios III;
Board Member,
Victory Capital
Services, Inc.
*
The Board has designated Ms. Beard as its Audit Committee Financial Expert.
**
Mr. Brown is an “Interested Person” by reason of his relationship with the Adviser.
36

Trustee Qualifications
The following summarizes the experience and qualifications of the Trustees.
• David Brooks Adcock. Mr. Adcock served for many years as general counsel to Duke University and Duke University Health System, where he provided oversight to complex business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions and dispositions. He has served for more than 20 years as a public interest arbitrator for, among others, the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the National Futures Association, FINRA, and the American Arbitration Association. The Board believes that Mr. Adcock’s knowledge of complex business transactions and the securities industry combined with his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve on the Board.
• Nigel D.T. Andrews. Mr. Andrews served for many years as a management consultant for a nationally recognized consulting company and as a senior executive at GE, including Vice President of Corporate Business Development, reporting to the Chairman, and as Executive Vice President of GE Capital. He also served as a Director and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Old Mutual plc, a large publicly traded company whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Mr. Andrews also formerly served as the non-executive chairman of Old Mutual’s U.S. asset management business, where he also served on the audit and risk committee. Mr. Andrews also served as a Governor of the London Business School. He serves as a director of Carlyle Secured Lending, Inc. (formerly TCG BDC I, Inc.) and Carlyle Credit Solutions, Inc., (formerly TCG BDC II, Inc.), and as a Trustee for Carlyle Secured Lending III, each a business development company. The Board believes that his experience in these positions, particularly with respect to oversight of risk and the audit function of public companies, as well as his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
• E. Lee Beard. Ms. Beard, a certified public accountant, has served as the president, chief executive officer and director, and as a chief financial officer, of public, federally insured depository institutions. As such, Ms. Beard is familiar with issues relating to audits of financial institutions. The Board believes that Ms. Beard’s experience as the chief executive officer of a depository institution, her service on the boards of other mutual funds and her knowledge of audit and accounting matters qualifies her to serve as a Trustee.
• David C. Brown. Mr. Brown serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (since 2013) of the Adviser and, as such, is an “interested person” of the Trust. Previously, he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer (2011 - 2013), and President — Investments and Operations (2010 - 2011) and Chief Operating Officer (2004 - 2011) of the Adviser. The Board believes that his position and experience with the Adviser and his previous experience in the investment management business qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
• John L. Kelly. Mr. Kelly has more than 35 years of experience and leadership roles in the financial services industry including institutional electronic trading, capital markets, corporate and investment banking, retail brokerage, private equity, asset/wealth management, institutional services, mutual funds, and related technology enabled services. He previously served as an Independent Trustee of Victory Portfolios, Victory Institutional Funds, and Victory Variable Insurance Funds from 2008 to 2011. The Board believes that this experience qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
• David L. Meyer. For six years, Mr. Meyer served as chief operating officer, Investment Wealth Management Division, of Mercantile Bankshares Corp (now PNC Financial Services Corp.) and has served as an officer or on the boards of other mutual funds for many years. The Board believes that his experience, particularly as it related to the operation of registered investment companies, qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
• Gloria S. Nelund. Ms. Nelund has executive and investment management industry experience, including service as chief executive officer of two investment advisory firms. Ms. Nelund also has experience as a co-founder and chief executive officer of an investment firm. Ms. Nelund previously served as the Chairman and Trustee of the boards of the RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust. The Board believes that this experience qualifies her to serve as a Trustee.
• Timothy Pettee. Mr. Pettee served for many years as Chief Investment Officer and Lead Portfolio Manager (Rules Based Funds) of SunAmerica Asset Management Corp., where he was responsible for investment oversight, portfolio management, and securities selection. At SunAmerica, Mr. Pettee also was Chair of the Portfolio Policy and Brokerage and Soft Dollar Committees, and a member of the Proxy and Executive Committees. The Board believes that Mr. Pettee’s experience with other mutual funds and his knowledge qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
• Leigh A. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was Chair of the Victory Funds through 2021. He served for many years as Chief Executive Officer of Paribas North America and as such has extensive experience in the financial sector. He served as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Caledonia Mining Corporation, a Canadian mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. As a former director of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum (“MFDF”), he is familiar with the operation and regulation of registered investment companies. He served on a MFDF steering committee created at the request of then-SEC Chairman William Donaldson to recommend best practices to independent mutual fund directors. He received the
37

Small Fund Trustee of the Year award from Institutional Investor Magazine in 2006. The Board believes that this experience and his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.
Committees of the Board
The following standing Committees of the Board are currently in operation: Audit and Risk Oversight, Compliance, Continuing Education, Investment, Service Provider, Board Governance and Nominating, and Agenda. In addition to these standing Committees, the Board may form temporary Sub- or Special Committees to address particular areas of concern. A Committee may form a Sub-Committee to address particular areas of concern to that Committee.
• The members of the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee, all of whom are Independent Trustees, are Ms. Beard (Chair), Mr. Andrews, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Nelund, and Mr. Wilson. The primary purpose of this Committee is to oversee the Trust’s accounting and financial reporting policies, practices, and internal controls, as required by the statutes and regulations administered by the SEC, including the 1940 Act. The Committee also has overall responsibility for reviewing periodic reports with respect to compliance and enterprise risk, including operational risk and personnel. The Board has designated Mr. Meyer and Ms. Beard as its Audit Committee Financial Experts.
• The members of the Compliance Committee are Mr. Adcock (Chair), Mr. Andrews, Ms. Beard, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Nelund, and Mr. Wilson. The Compliance Committee oversees matters related to the Funds’ compliance program and compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations and meets regularly with the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer.
• The members of the Continuing Education Committee are Mr. Meyer (Chair), Mr. Adcock, Mr. Andrews, Ms. Beard, Mr. Kelly, and Ms. Nelund. The function of this Committee is to develop programs to educate the Trustees to enhance their effectiveness as a Board and individually.
• The members of the Investment Committee are Mr. Pettee (Chair), Mr. Adcock, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Meyer. The function of this Committee is to oversee the Fund’s compliance with investment objectives, policies, and restrictions, including those imposed by law or regulation, and assist the Board in its annual review of the Funds’ investment advisory agreements.
• The members of the Service Provider Committee are Ms. Nelund (Chair), Mr. Andrews, Ms. Beard, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Wilson. This Committee oversees the negotiation of the terms of the written agreements with the Funds’ service providers, evaluates the quality of periodic reports from the service providers (including reports submitted by sub-service providers) and assists the Board in its review of each Fund’s service providers, other than the investment adviser and independent auditors.
• The Board Governance and Nominating Committee consists of all of the Independent Trustees. Mr. Andrews currently serves as the Chair of this Committee. The functions of this Committee are: to oversee Fund governance, including the nomination and selection of Trustees; to evaluate and recommend to the Board the compensation and expense reimbursement policies applicable to Trustees; and periodically, to coordinate and facilitate an evaluation of the performance of the Board.
• The Board Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominee recommendations from Fund shareholders, in accordance with procedures established by the Committee. A Fund shareholder should submit a nominee recommendation in writing to the attention of the Chair of the Trust, 4900 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144. The Committee (or a designated sub-committee) will screen shareholder recommendations in the same manner as it screens nominations received from other sources, such as current Trustees, management of the Fund or other individuals, including professional recruiters. The Committee need not consider any recommendations when no vacancy on the Board exists, but the Committee will consider any such recommendation if a vacancy occurs within six months after receipt of the recommendation. In administering the shareholder recommendation process, the Chair, in the Chair’s sole discretion, may retain the services of counsel to the Trust or to the Independent Trustees, management of the Fund or any third party. The Committee will communicate the results of the evaluation of any shareholder recommendation to the shareholder who made the recommendation.
• The Agenda Committee consists of the Chair of the Board and the Chair of each other Committee.
During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, the Board held six meetings. The Audit and Risk Oversight Committee held four meetings; the Compliance Committee held four meetings; the Investment Committee held five meetings; the Service Provider Committee held four meetings; and the Board Governance and Nominating Committee held four meetings. The Continuing Education Committee met informally during the fiscal year.
Officers of the Trust
The officers of the Trust are elected by the Board to actively supervise the Trust’s day-to-day operations. The officers of the Trust, their dates of birth, the length of time served, and their principal occupations during the past five years, are detailed in the following table. Each individual holds the same position with the other registered investment companies in the Victory Fund Complex, and each officer
38

serves until the earlier of his or her resignation, removal, retirement, death, or the election of a successor. The mailing address of each officer of the Trust is 15935 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78256. The officers of the Trust receive no compensation directly from the Trust for performing the duties of their offices.
Name and
Date of Birth
Position with
the Trust
Date
Commenced
Service
Principal Occupation
During Past 5 Years
James K. De Vries
Born April 1969
President
May 2023
Head of Fund Administration (5/1/23-present);Vice
President, Victory Capital Transfer Agency, Inc.
(4/20/23-present); Executive Director, the Adviser
(7/1/19-4/30/23 present); Executive Director, Investment
and Financial Administration, USAA (2012-6/30/19);
Treasurer, USAA Mutual Funds Trust (2018-4/30/23).
Mr. De Vries also serves as the Principal Executive
Officer for the Funds, Victory Portfolios II, Victory
Portfolios III, and Victory Variable Insurance Funds.
Scott A. Stahorsky,
Born July 1969
Vice President
December 2014
Director, Third-Party Dealer Services & Reg
Administration, Fund Administration, the Adviser
(5/1/2023-present); Vice President, Victory Capital
Transfer Agency, Inc. (4/20/23-present); Manager, Fund
Administration, the Adviser (4/30/23- 2015). Mr.
Stahorsky also serves as Vice President of Victory
Portfolios II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory Variable
Insurance Funds.
Thomas
Dusenberry,
Born July 1977
Secretary
May 2022
Director, Fund Administration, the Adviser; Treasurer
and Principal Financial Officer (May 2023-present);
Manager, Fund Administration, the Adviser; Treasurer
and Principal Financial Officer (2020-2022), Assistant
Treasurer (2019), Salient MF Trust, Salient Midstream,
MLP Fund and Forward Funds; Principal Financial
Officer (2018-2021) and Treasurer (2020-2021), Salient
Private Access Funds and Endowment PMF Funds;
Senior Vice President of Fund Accounting and
Operations, Salient Partners (2020-2022); Director of
Fund Operations, Salient Partners (2016-2019). Mr.
Dusenberry also serves as Secretary of Victory
Portfolios II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory Variable
Insurance Funds.
Allan Shaer,
Born March 1965
Treasurer
May 2017
Senior Vice President, Financial Administration, Citi
Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (since 2016); Vice President,
Mutual Fund Administration, JP Morgan Chase
(2011-2016). Mr. Shaer also serves as Treasurer of
Victory Portfolios II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory
Variable Insurance Funds.
Christopher Ponte,
Born March 1984
Assistant
Treasurer
December 2017
Director, Fund and Broker Dealer Finance, Fund
Administration, (5/1/23-present); Victory Capital
Transfer Agency, Inc. (May 2023-present); Manager,
Fund Administration, the Adviser (2017-2023); Chief
Financial Officer, Victory Capital Services, Inc. (since
2018). Mr. Ponte also serves as Assistant Treasurer of
Victory Portfolios II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory
Variable Insurance Funds.
Carol D. Trevino
Born October 1965
Assistant
Treasurer
February 2023
Director, Financial Reporting, Fund Administration
(5/1/23-present); Director, Accounting and Finance, the
Adviser (7/1/19-4/30/23); Accounting/ Financial
Director, USAA (12/13-6/30/19). Ms. Trevino also
serves as Assistant Treasurer of Victory Portfolios II,
Victory Portfolios III, and Victory Variable Insurance
Funds.
39

Name and
Date of Birth
Position with
the Trust
Date
Commenced
Service
Principal Occupation
During Past 5 Years
Sean Fox,
Born September
1976
Chief
Compliance
Officer
June 2022
Sr. Compliance Officer, the Adviser (2019-Present);
Compliance Officer, the Adviser (2015-2019). Mr. Fox
also serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Victory
Portfolios II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory Variable
Insurance Funds.
Michael Bryan,
Born December
1962
Anti-Money
Laundering
Compliance
Officer and
Identity Theft
Officer
May 2023
Vice President, CCO Compliance Support Services, Citi
Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (2008-present). Mr. Bryan
also serves as the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance
Officer and Identity Theft Officer for Victory Portfolios
II, Victory Portfolios III, and Victory Variable Insurance
Funds.
Jay G. Baris,
Born January 1954
Assistant
Secretary
December 1997
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP (since 2020); Partner,
Shearman & Sterling LLP (2018-2020).
Fund Ownership
The following tables show the dollar ranges of Fund shares (and of shares of all series of the Victory Fund Complex) beneficially owned by each Trustee as of December 31, 2023. No Independent Trustee (or any immediate family member) owns beneficially or of record an interest in the Adviser or the Distributor or in any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or the Distributor (other than Funds in the Victory Funds Complex). As of December 31, 2023, the Trustees and officers as a group owned beneficially less than 1% of each class of outstanding shares of those series of the Trust.
Independent Trustees
Trustee
Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership of Fund
Shares
Aggregate Dollar Range of Ownership
of Shares of All Series
of the Victory Fund Complex
Mr. Adcock
Victory RS Science and Technology Fund: Over $100,000
Over $100,000
Mr. Andrews
Victory Floating Rate Fund: Over $100,000
Over $100,000
Ms. Beard
Victory Floating Rate Fund: $50,001 - $100,000 Victory
Low Duration Bond Fund: $10,001 - $50,000
Over $100,000
Mr. Kelly
Victory RS Small Cap Growth Fund: $10,001 - $50,000
Over $100,000
Mr. Meyer
Victory RS International Fund: $10,001 - $50,000Victory
RS Science and Technology Fund: $10,001 - $50,000
Over $100,000
Ms. Nelund
Victory RS Science and Technology Fund: Over $100,000
Over $100,000
Mr. Pettee
None
None
Mr. Wilson
None
None
Interested Trustee
Trustee
Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership of Fund
Shares
Aggregate Dollar Range of Ownership
of Shares of All Series
of the Victory Fund Complex
Mr. Brown*
Victory Floating Rate Fund: Over $100,000
Victory RS Global Fund: Over $100,000
Victory RS Growth Fund: Over $100,000
Victory RS Small Cap Growth Fund: Over $100,000
Over $100,000
*
Mr. Brown is an “Interested Person” by reason of his relationship with the Adviser.
Compensation
The Victory Fund Complex pays each Independent Trustee $344,000 per year for his or her services to the Complex. The Board Chair is paid an additional retainer of $150,000 per year. While the Board reserves the right to award reasonable compensation to any Interested Trustee, as of the date of this SAI no Interested Trustee receives compensation for services as a Trustee.
40

The following tables indicate the compensation received by each Trustee from the Funds covered in this SAI and from the Victory Fund Complex for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023. As of December 31, 2023, there were 70 funds in the Victory Fund Complex for which the Trustees listed below were compensated. The Trust does not maintain a retirement plan for its Trustees.
Independent Trustees
Trustee
Aggregate Compensation
from the Funds
Total Compensation from the
Victory Fund Complex
Mr. Adcock
$37,534
$344,000
Mr. Andrews*
$40,496
$344,000
Ms. Beard
$37,534
$344,000
Mr. Kelly
$58,154
$494,000
Mr. Meyer
$40,496
$344,000
Ms. Nelund
$40,496
$344,000
Mr. Pettee
$40,496
$344,000
Mr. Wilson
$40,496
$344,000
* Mr. Andrews no longer elects to receive a portion of his compensation as deferred compensation. As of December 31, 2023, the value of Mr. Andrews' deferred compensation account was $594,944.
Interested Trustee
Trustee
Aggregate Compensation
from the Funds
Total Compensation from the
Victory Fund Complex
Mr. Brown*
None
None
*
Mr. Brown is an “Interested Person” by reason of his relationship with the Adviser.
Deferred Compensation
Each Trustee may elect to defer a portion of his or her compensation from the Victory Fund Complex in accordance with a Deferred Compensation Plan adopted by the Board (the “Plan”). Such amounts are invested in one or more Funds in the Victory Fund Complex offered under the Plan or a money market fund, as selected by the Trustee.
As of the current fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, the following current Trustees have elected to defer a portion of his or her compensation from the Victory Fund Complex.
Trustee
Aggregate Compensation
from the Funds
Total Compensation from the
Victory Fund Complex
Mr. Adcock*
$3,113
$51,600
Ms. Beard**
$3,113
$51,600
*         As of December 31, 2023, the value of Mr. Adcock's deferred compensation account was $304,488.
**       As of December 31, 2023, the value of Ms. Beard’s deferred compensation account was $93,602.
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS
As of March 31, 2024, the following shareholders owned 5% or more of a class of the indicated Funds. Each shareholder that beneficially owns more than 25% of the voting securities of a class of a Fund may be deemed a control person of that class of the Fund’s outstanding shares and, thereby, may influence the outcome of matters on which shareholders are entitled to vote. Since the economic benefit of investing in a Fund and related voting authority is passed through to the underlying investors of the record owners, it is expected that these record owners generally will not be considered the beneficial owners of the Fund’s shares or control persons of the Fund.
The names and addresses of the record holders and the percentage of the outstanding shares held by such holders are set forth in the following table.
41

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
VICTORY FLOATING RATE FUND CL A
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
21.08%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
15.14%
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
13.59%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
11.91%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
7.48%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
5.38%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
5.23%
VICTORY FLOATING RATE FUND CL C
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
32.66%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
19.33%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
14.82%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
9.38%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
8.03%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
5.86%
VICTORY FLOATING RATE FUND CL R
ASCENSUS TRUST COMPANY FBO
INTEGRATED DESIGN CONSULTANTS LLC 4
753575
P O BOX 10758
FARGO ND 58106
60.94%
 
MATRIX TRUST COMPANY CUST FBO
RONDON LAW GROUP LLC 401 K PLAN
717 17TH STREET
SUITE 1300
DENVER CO 80202
36.72%
42

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
VICTORY FLOATING RATE FUND CL Y
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
27.83%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
16.44%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
9.55%
 
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
9.25%
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
9.24%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
5.58%
 
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
5.41%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
5.17%
VICTORY FLOATING RATE FUND MEMBER
CLASS
VICTORY CAPITAL TRANSFER AGENCY INC
15935 LA CANTERA PARKWAY BLDG TWO
SAN ANTONIO TX 78256
99.45%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL A
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
24.88%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
24.34%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
6.12%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL A
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
5.02%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
5.02%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL C
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
44.59%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
37.18%
43

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
5.60%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL C
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
40.77%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
32.06%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
6.96%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
5.19%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL R
ASCENSUS TRUST COMPANY FBO
JAMARI INTERNATIONAL LTD 401 K PR
691423
P O BOX 10758
FARGO ND 581060758
25.24%
 
PARIMAL B MODY
64 AVENUE ALPHAND
SAINTMANDE FRANCE 94160
25.02%
 
MATRIX TRUST COMPANY CUST FBO
W A INC 401 K PROFIT SHARING PLAN
717 17TH STREET
SUITE 1300
DENVER CO 80202
20.73%
 
DELAWARE CHARTER GTY TRUST
SUSAN CARLISLE PSP
830 ANNIE LANG DR
MILFORD MI 483814713
12.99%
 
PRINCIPAL SECURITIES, INC.
C/O PEN TRADE OPS N-004
PO BOX 14597
DES MOINES IA 50306
6.09%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
5.03%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL Y
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
27.95%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
25.14%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
10.82%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
10.31%
44

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
9.81%
VICTORY GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION FD
CL Y
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
35.32%
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
13.03%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
11.35%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
10.08%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
9.86%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNI BOND
MEMBER CL
VICTORY CAPITAL TRANSFER AGENCY INC
15935 LA CANTERA PARKWAY BLDG TWO
SAN ANTONIO TX 78256
99.36%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNI BOND
MEMBER CL
VICTORY CAPITAL TRANSFER AGENCY INC
15935 LA CANTERA PARKWAY BLDG TWO
SAN ANTONIO TX 78256
99.53%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL A
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
30.99%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
26.10%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
10.50%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
6.46%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
5.38%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL A
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
29.21%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
21.14%
 
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
13.21%
45

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
8.16%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
6.87%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
5.94%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL C
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
32.29%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
26.78%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
18.05%
 
EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P.
12555 MANCHESTER ROAD
SAINT LOUIS MO 631313729
5.51%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL C
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
20.99%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
20.83%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
18.04%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
12.48%
 
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
10.08%
 
EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P.
12555 MANCHESTER ROAD
SAINT LOUIS MO 631313729
7.51%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
5.06%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL Y
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
33.01%
 
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
25.75%
46

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
21.47%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
7.13%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
6.15%
VICTORY HIGH INCOME MUNICIPAL BOND
CL Y
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
29.87%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
26.59%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
20.44%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
7.12%
VICTORY HIGH YIELD FUND CL A
GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA
INVESTMENT ACCTING
7 HANOVER SQ H 17 B
ATTN RON PICIULLO
NEW YORK NY 100044025
24.29%
 
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
14.27%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
12.66%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
12.09%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
6.54%
VICTORY HIGH YIELD FUND CL C
GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA
INVESTMENT ACCTING
7 HANOVER SQ H 17 B
ATTN RON PICIULLO
NEW YORK NY 100044025
50.99%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
21.99%
 
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
8.34%
47

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
6.93%
VICTORY HIGH YIELD FUND CL R
GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA
INVESTMENT ACCTING
7 HANOVER SQ H 17 B
ATTN RON PICIULLO
NEW YORK NY 100044025
87.48%
 
MATRIX TRUST COMPANY CUST FBO
RONDON LAW GROUP LLC 401 K PLAN
717 17TH STREET
SUITE 1300
DENVER CO 80202
7.04%
VICTORY HIGH YIELD FUND CL Y
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
41.03%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
18.21%
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
10.92%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
9.14%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
5.39%
VICTORY LOW DURATION BOND FUND CL A
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
15.45%
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
13.16%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
12.00%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
11.42%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
9.43%
 
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
5.05%
VICTORY LOW DURATION BOND FUND CL C
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
40.91%
48

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
PERSHING LLC
ONE PERSHING PLAZA
PRODUCT SUPPORT, 14TH FLOOR
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399
11.30%
 
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
9.37%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
8.10%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
7.40%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
6.48%
 
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
5.96%
 
RBC CAPITAL MARKETS LLC
60 SOUTH SIX STREET P08
MINNEAPOLIS MN 554024400
5.45%
VICTORY LOW DURATION BOND FUND CL Y
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH
ATTN: COMPENSATION TEAM
4800 DEER LAKE DR E FL 2
JACKSONVILLE FL 322466484
24.46%
 
UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
C/O CENTRAL DEPOSIT/MUTUAL FUNDS
1000 HARBOR BLVD 7TH FL
A/C YY011410610
WEEHAWKEN NJ 070866727
16.85%
 
LPL FINANCIAL CORPORATION
75 STATE STREET, 24TH FLOOR
BOSTON MA 02109
12.59%
 
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
5221 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55474
8.75%
 
WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC.
ATTN: DEBBIE BELL MAILCODE: MO3970
1 NORTH JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
7.51%
 
MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
2000 WESTCHESTER AVE LD
PURCHASE NY 105772530
7.38%
 
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
6.62%
VICTORY RS GLOBAL FUND CL A
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC.
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105
39.92%
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
NEWPORT OFFICE CENTER III 5TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310
22.14%
49

Fund - Class
Name and Address of Owner
Percentage
Owned of
Record
 
SECURITY BENEFIT LIFE INSURANCE
COMPANY
SECURITY FINANCIAL RESOURCES
ONE SECURITY BENEFIT PLACE
TOPEKA KS 666360001
15.11%
VICTORY RS GLOBAL FUND CL C
RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC.
880 CARILLON PARKWAY
ST PETERSBURG FL 337332749
58.31%