Goldman Sachs Trust
PART B
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
DATED DECEMBER 29, 2022
FUND
Class A
Shares
Class C
Shares
Class R
Shares
Investor
Shares
Class R6
Shares
Service
Shares
Institutional
Shares
Class P
Shares
GOLDMAN SACHS U.S.
EQUITY ESG FUND
GAGVX
GCGVX
GRGVX
GIRGX
GDEUX
GINGX
GALPX
GOLDMAN SACHS LARGE
CAP CORE FUND
GSCGX
GSPCX
GSPRX
GSPTX
GSPUX
GSPSX
GSPIX
GGGPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
CONCENTRATED
GROWTH FUND
GCGAX
GCGCX
GGCRX
GGCTX
GCGUX
GCRIX
GACPX
GOLDMAN SACHS FLEXIBLE
CAP FUND
GALLX
GCLLX
GRLLX
GSLLX
GFCUX
GILLX
GGZPX
GOLDMAN SACHS MID CAP
GROWTH FUND
GGOAX
GGOCX
GGORX
GGOTX
GGOUX
GGOSX
GGOIX
GGQPX
GOLDMAN SACHS SMALL
CAP GROWTH FUND
GSBDX
GSBAX
GSANX
GSAHX
GSBEX
GSAJX
GSADX
GOLDMAN SACHS
SMALL/MID CAP GROWTH
FUND
GSMAX
GSMGX
GTMRX
GTMTX
GTMUX
GSMQX
GSMYX
GSWPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
STRATEGIC GROWTH
FUND
GGRAX
GGRCX
GSTRX
GSTTX
GGRUX
GSTSX
GSTIX
GSPPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
TECHNOLOGY
OPPORTUNITIES FUND
GITAX
GITCX
GISTX
GTORX
GITSX
GITIX
GSJPX
GOLDMAN SACHS EQUITY
INCOME FUND
GSGRX
GSGCX
GRGRX
GRGTX
GRGUX
GSGSX
GSIIX
GABPX
GOLDMAN SACHS FOCUSED
VALUE FUND
GFVAX
GFVCX
GFVRX
GFVIX
GFVUX
GFVSX
GGYPX
GOLDMAN SACHS LARGE
CAP VALUE FUND
GSLAX
GSVCX
GSVRX
GSVTX
GSVUX
GSVSX
GSLIX
GMYPX
GOLDMAN SACHS MID CAP
VALUE FUND
GCMAX
GCMCX
GCMRX
GCMTX
GCMUX
GSMSX
GSMCX
GMPPX
GOLDMAN SACHS SMALL
CAP VALUE FUND
GSSMX
GSSCX
GSQRX
GSQTX
GSSUX
GSSSX
GSSIX
GSYPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
SMALL/MID CAP VALUE
FUND
GMVAX
GMVCX
GMVRX
GMVIX
GMCUX
GSMVX
GSVPX
(Fundamental Equity Growth and Fundamental Equity Value Funds of Goldman Sachs Trust)
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60606
This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Goldman Sachs U.S. Equity ESG Fund, Goldman Sachs Large Cap Core Fund (formerly, Goldman Sachs Capital Growth Fund), Goldman Sachs Concentrated Growth Fund, Goldman Sachs Flexible Cap Fund,  Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Growth Fund (formerly, Goldman Sachs Growth Opportunities Fund), Goldman Sachs Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund, Goldman Sachs Strategic Growth Fund, Goldman Sachs Technology Opportunities Fund, Goldman Sachs Equity Income Fund, Goldman Sachs Focused Value Fund, Goldman Sachs Large Cap Value Fund, Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value Fund, Goldman Sachs Small Cap

Value Fund and Goldman Sachs Small/Mid Cap Value Fund (collectively, the “Funds” and each individually, a “Fund”), dated December 29, 2022, as they may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectuses”). The Prospectuses may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling 1-800-621-2550 or writing to Goldman Sachs Funds, P.O. Box 806395, Chicago, Illinois 60680.
The audited financial statements and related report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm for each Fund, contained in the Funds’ 2022 Annual Reports are incorporated herein by reference in the section titled “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” No other portions of applicable  Fund's Semi-Annual or Annual Report are incorporated by reference herein. A Fund's Semi-Annual or Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll-free at 1-800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Investor and Class R Shareholders) or 1-800-621-2550 (for Institutional, Service, Class R6 and Class P Shareholders).
GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1-C

GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.
Investment Adviser
200 West Street
New York, New York 10282
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC
Distributor
200 West Street
New York, New York 10282
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC
Transfer Agent
P.O. Box 806395
Chicago, Illinois 60680-4125
Toll-free (in U.S.)
800-621-2550
iv

INTRODUCTION
Goldman Sachs Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by a Declaration of Trust dated January 28, 1997. The Trust is a successor to a Massachusetts business trust that was combined with the Trust on April 30, 1997. The following series of the Trust are described in this SAI: Goldman Sachs U.S. Equity ESG Fund (prior to August 31, 2020, the Goldman Sachs Blue Chip Fund) (“U.S. Equity ESG Fund”), Goldman Sachs Large Cap Core Fund (prior to April 13, 2022, the Goldman Sachs Capital Growth Fund) (“Large Cap Core Fund”), Goldman Sachs Concentrated Growth Fund (“Concentrated Growth Fund”), Goldman Sachs Flexible Cap Fund (prior to August 31, 2017, the Goldman Sachs Flexible Cap Growth Fund) (“Flexible Cap Fund”), Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Growth Fund (prior to April 13, 2022, the Goldman Sachs Growth Opportunities Fund) (“Mid Cap Growth Fund”), Goldman Sachs Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund (“Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund”), Goldman Sachs Strategic Growth Fund (“Strategic Growth Fund”), Goldman Sachs Technology Opportunities Fund (prior to July 31, 2015, the Goldman Sachs Technology Tollkeeper Fund) (“Technology Opportunities Fund”), Goldman Sachs Equity Income Fund (prior to June 20, 2017, the Goldman Sachs Growth and Income Fund) (“Equity Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs Focused Value Fund (“Focused Value Fund”), Goldman Sachs Large Cap Value Fund (“Large Cap Value Fund”), Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value Fund (“Mid Cap Value Fund”), Goldman Sachs Small Cap Value Fund (“Small Cap Value Fund”) and Goldman Sachs Small/Mid Cap Value Fund (“Small/Mid Cap Value Fund”) (collectively referred to herein as the “Funds”).
The Large Cap Core, Equity Income, Mid Cap Value and Small Cap Value Funds were initially organized as series of a corporation formed under the laws of the State of Maryland on September 27, 1989, and were reorganized as series of the Trust as of April 30, 1997. The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares into separate series and to classify and reclassify any series or portfolio of shares into one or more classes without further action by shareholders. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Funds and other series. Additional series may be added in the future from time to time. Each Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG, Concentrated Growth, Flexible Cap, Technology Opportunities, Focused Value and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds) currently offers nine classes of shares: Class A, Class C, Institutional, Investor, Class R, Class R6, Service and Class P Shares. The Concentrated Growth, Flexible Cap, Focused Value and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds currently offer eight classes of shares: Class A, Class C, Institutional, Investor, Class R, Class R6 and Class P Shares. The Technology Opportunities Fund currently offers eight classes of shares: Class A, Class C, Institutional, Investor, Service, Class R6 and Class P Shares. The Small Cap Growth and U.S. Equity ESG Funds currently offers seven classes of shares: Class A, Class C, Institutional, Investor, Class R, Class R6 and Class P Shares. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the investment adviser to each Fund. In addition, Goldman Sachs serves as each Fund’s distributor (the “Distributor”) and transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”). Each Fund’s custodian is The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”).
The following information relates to and supplements the description of each Fund’s investment policies contained in the Prospectuses. See the Prospectuses for a more complete description of the Funds’ investment objectives and policies. Investing in the Funds entails certain risks, and there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectuses.
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES
Each Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. There can be no assurance that a Fund’s objective will be achieved. Each Fund, except the Focused Value Fund and Strategic Growth Fund, is a diversified open-end management company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Act”). The Focused Value Fund and Strategic Growth Fund are non-diversified, open-end management companies (as defined in the Act). The investment objective and policies of each Fund, and the associated risks of each Fund, are discussed in the Funds’ Prospectuses, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, with respect to the U.S. Equity ESG, Flexible Cap, Small/Mid Cap Growth, Small Cap Growth, Equity Income, Focused Value, Large Cap Core, Large Cap Value, Mid Cap Growth, Mid Cap Value, Small Cap Value, and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds, shareholders will be provided with sixty (60) days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in a Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for
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investment purposes (measured at the time of purchase (“Net Assets”)) in the particular type of investment suggested by its name. Additional information about the Funds, their policies, and the investment instruments they may hold, is provided below.
Each Fund’s share price will fluctuate with market, economic and, to the extent applicable, foreign exchange conditions, so that an investment in any of the Funds may be worth more or less when redeemed than when purchased. None of the Funds should be relied upon as a complete investment program.
The Investment Adviser, on behalf of the U.S. Equity ESG Fund, Small Cap Growth Fund, Flexible Cap Fund, Strategic Growth Fund and Technology Opportunities Fund, has filed a notice of eligibility claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA. The Investment Adviser has claimed temporary relief from registration as a CPO under the CEA for the Large Cap Core Fund, Concentrated Growth Fund, Equity Income Fund, Focused Value Fund, Mid Cap Growth Fund, Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund, Large Cap Value Fund, Mid Cap Value Fund, Small Cap Value Fund and Small/Mid Cap Value Fund and therefore is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.
The following discussion supplements the information in the Funds’ Prospectuses.
General Information about the Value and Growth Style Funds
The Investment Adviser may purchase for the Funds common stocks, preferred stocks, interests in real estate investment trusts, convertible debt obligations, convertible preferred stocks, equity interests in trusts, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies and similar enterprises, master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), shares of other investment companies (including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”)), warrants, stock purchase rights and synthetic and derivative instruments (such as swaps and futures contracts) that have economic characteristics similar to equity securities (“equity investments”). The Investment Adviser utilizes first-hand fundamental research, including visiting company facilities to assess operations and to meet decision-makers, in choosing a Fund’s securities. The Investment Adviser may also use macro analysis of numerous economic and valuation variables to anticipate changes in company earnings and the overall investment climate. The Investment Adviser is able to draw on the research and market expertise of the Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research Department and other affiliates of the Investment Adviser, as well as information provided by other securities dealers. Equity investments in a Fund’s portfolio will generally be sold when the Investment Adviser believes that the market price fully reflects or exceeds the investments’ fundamental valuation or when other more attractive investments are identified.
Value Style Funds. The Equity Income, Focused Value, Large Cap Value, Mid Cap Value, Small Cap Value and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds are managed using a value oriented approach. The Investment Adviser evaluates securities using fundamental analysis and intends to purchase equity investments that are, in its view, underpriced relative to a combination of such companies’ long-term earnings prospects, growth rate, free cash flow and/or dividend-paying ability. Consideration will be given to the business quality of the issuer. Factors positively affecting the Investment Adviser’s view of that quality include the competitiveness and degree of regulation in the markets in which the company operates, the existence of a management team with a record of success, the position of the company in the markets in which it operates, the level of the company’s financial leverage and the sustainable return on capital invested in the business. The Investment Adviser may also consider environmental, social, and governance factors as part of the fundamental research and stock selection process. The Funds may also purchase securities of companies that have experienced difficulties and that, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, are available at attractive prices. No one factor or consideration is determinative in the fundamental research and stock selection process.
The Equity Income Fund seeks to generate additional cash flow and may reduce volatility by the sale of call options. It is anticipated that the calls will typically be written against the S&P 500® Index (or against ETFs linked to the S&P 500® Index) or against other regional stock market indices. The goal of the Fund’s call writing is to generate an amount of premium that, when annualized and added to the Fund’s expected dividend yield, provides an attractive level of cash flow. The Investment Adviser anticipates generally writing call options with expirations of one month or less.
The Small Cap Value Fund is open for investment by new investors for such period as the Trust and Goldman Sachs deem appropriate based on various considerations, including the Fund’s capacity. Exchanges into the Fund from other Goldman
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Sachs Funds are also permitted. The Trust and Goldman Sachs reserve the right to close the Fund without prior notice. Please see the “Shareholder Guide – How to Buy Shares – What Else Should I Know About Share Purchases?” in the Fund’s Prospectus, as supplemented, for more information.
Growth Style Funds. The Concentrated Growth, Flexible Cap, Mid Cap Growth, Small/Mid Cap Growth, Small Cap Growth, Strategic Growth and Technology Opportunities Funds are managed using a growth equity oriented approach. Equity investments for these Funds are selected based on their long-term prospects for above average growth. The Investment Adviser employs an investment strategy with three primary components. The first is to buy a business with the belief that wealth is created by the long-¬term ownership of a growing business. The second is to buy a high quality business that exhibits high-quality growth criteria including strong business franchise, favorable long-term trends and excellent management. The third component of the strategy is to buy the business at an attractive valuation. The Investment Adviser may also consider environmental, social, and governance factors as part of the fundamental research and stock selection process. The Investment Adviser maintains a long term outlook when implementing this disciplined investment process. No one factor or consideration is determinative in the fundamental research and stock selection process.
The U.S. Equity ESG and Large Cap Core Funds may invest in securities of companies of any investment style and are managed using both the value and growth styles discussed above.
Additional Information about the Technology Opportunities Fund
The Technology Opportunities Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in technology companies. In general, the Investment Adviser defines a technology company as a high-quality technology, services, media or telecommunications company that adopts or uses technology to improve its cost structure, revenue opportunities or competitive advantage. The Investment Adviser seeks to identify technology companies that exhibit many of the following characteristics:
•   Strong brand name
•   Dominant market share
•   Recurring revenue streams
•   Free cash flow generation
•   Long product life cycle
•   Enduring competitive advantage
•   Excellent management
The Investment Adviser seeks to identify technology companies that are promising growth businesses. These companies may grow revenue by increasing sales volumes, prices, customers and market share. The Internet is an example of a technology that the Investment Adviser believes will drive growth for many technology businesses. The Internet has had, and is expected to continue to have, a significant impact on the global economy, as it changes the way many companies operate. Benefits of the Internet for businesses may include global scalability, acquisition of new clients, new revenue sources and increased efficiencies. Technology companies adopting innovative Internet technologies to improve their business models include providers of infrastructure, software, hardware and services.
Because of its focus on technology, telecommunications, Internet, services and media companies, the Fund’s investment performance will be closely tied to many factors which affect these companies. These factors include intense competition, consumer preferences, problems with product compatibility and government regulation. The Fund’s investments may experience significant price movements caused by disproportionate investor optimism or pessimism with little or no basis in fundamental economic conditions. The Fund may also invest in a relatively few number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) is more likely to have greater fluctuations than that of a fund which is more diversified or invests in other industries.
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Risk Considerations Regarding the Internet Industry
The value of the Technology Opportunities Fund’s shares will fluctuate based upon risk factors affecting the Internet industry and related industries. Market or economic factors impacting companies in these industries could have a major effect on the value of the Technology Opportunities Fund’s investments. The value of stocks of these companies is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technological product cycles, frequent new service and product announcements, evolving industry standards, changes in government regulation and policies, loss or impairment of patents and other intellectual property, intense worldwide competition, restrictions on internet usage or access, damage to the internet infrastructure, obsolescence caused by scientific and technological advances, departure of key personnel and changing customer demand. The failure of an Internet company to adapt to such changes could have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. Technology stocks, especially those of smaller, less seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Products developed by Internet and Internet-related companies may be commercially unsuccessful. Internet companies are heavily dependent on patents and other intellectual property, and there can be no assurance that the steps taken by internet companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent misappropriation of their technology, or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. In addition, the widespread adoption of new Internet, networking or telecommunications technologies or other technological changes could require substantial expenditures by an Internet company to modify or adapt its services or infrastructure, which could have a material adverse effect on an Internet company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Despite the implementation of security measures, an Internet company’s website and networks may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, viruses and other disruptive problems. Internet companies have in the past experienced, and may in the future experience, losses as a result of natural disasters, telecommunications failures, power failures, other system failures, maintenance, viruses, hacking or other events. Unauthorized access could also potentially jeopardize the security of information stored in the computer systems of a company and subject the companies to risk of loss, litigation and possible liability.
Internet companies are subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as regulations and laws specifically governing the Internet and e-commerce. Existing and future laws and regulations may impede the growth of the Internet or online services. There is, and will likely continue to be, an increasing number of laws and regulations pertaining to the internet, online commerce and cable, broadcast, broadband and telephone services covering taxation of Internet usage and transactions, defamation, libel, privacy, data protection, pricing, content, liability for information retrieved from or transmitted over the internet, copyrights, distribution, mobile communications, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, the provision of online payment services, obscene or indecent communications, child protection, unencumbered Internet access, the design and operation of websites, and the characteristics and quality of products and services. Unfavorable regulations and laws could diminish the demand for the products and services produced by internet companies, subject them to increased liability and increase costs, all of which could materially and adversely harm their business.
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DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES
The investment securities and practices and related risks applicable to each Fund (which, for the remainder of this section, refers to one or more of the Funds offered in this SAI) are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.
Asset-Backed Securities
Each Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.
Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund's ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that a Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.
Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.
Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. Generally, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, if a Fund holds mortgage-backed securities, it may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. In addition, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of a Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates. A Fund’s investments in other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. Certain Funds may invest in mortgage-backed securities issued by the U.S. Government (see “U.S. Government Securities Risk”). To the extent that an Fund invests in mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, the Fund may be subject to additional risks. Timely payment of interest and principal of non-governmental issuers are supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance purchased by the issuer. There can be no assurance that the private insurers can meet their obligations under the policies. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the mortgages held by a mortgage pool may adversely affect the value of a mortgage-backed security and could result in losses to a Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include
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subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their mortgages.
Bank Obligations
The Funds may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.
Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation.  The Funds may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks satisfying the standards set forth above.
Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations
The Funds may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.
Convertible Securities
Each Fund (other than the Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund) may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.
The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.
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A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to convert the security into the underlying common stock, sell it to a third party, or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that a Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.
In evaluating a convertible security, the Investment Adviser will give primary emphasis to the attractiveness of the underlying common stock. Convertible debt securities are equity investments for purposes of each Fund’s investment policies.
Corporate Debt Obligations
Each Fund may, under normal market conditions, invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.
Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of fixed income securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of fixed income securities fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in a Fund’s NAV.
Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium-grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non-rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in each Fund’s NAV. Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues.
The Investment Adviser will attempt to reduce these risks through portfolio diversification and by analysis of each issuer and its ability to make timely payments of income and principal, as well as broad economic trends and corporate developments. The Investment Adviser employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of an issuer’s existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and pay dividends, sensitivity to economic conditions, operating history and current earnings trend. The Investment Adviser continually monitors the investments in a Fund’s portfolio and evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain corporate debt obligations whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed. If after its purchase, a portfolio security is assigned a lower rating or ceases to be rated, a Fund may continue to hold the security if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates
The Funds (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”), municipal securities or other types of securities in which the Funds may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into
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an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For purposes of certain securities laws, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, the Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.
Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate the Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.
Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.
Dividend-Paying Investments
A Fund's investments in dividend-paying securities could cause the Fund to underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ a different investment style. Securities that pay dividends, as a group, can fall out of favor with the market, causing such securities to underperform securities that do not pay dividends. Depending upon market conditions and political and legislative responses to such conditions, dividend-paying securities that meet a Fund's investment criteria may not be widely available and/or may be highly concentrated in only a few market sectors. For example, in response to the outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (known as COVID-19), the U.S. Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, which established loan programs for certain issuers impacted by COVID-19. Among other conditions, borrowers under these loan programs are generally restricted from paying dividends. The adoption of new legislation could further limit or restrict the ability of issuers to pay dividends. To the extent that dividend-paying securities are concentrated in only a few market sectors, a Fund may be subject to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions or developments that may be particular to a sector to a greater extent than if its investments were diversified across different sectors. In addition, issuers that have paid regular dividends or distributions to shareholders may not continue to do so at the same level or at all in the future. A sharp rise in interest rates or an economic downturn could cause an issuer to abruptly reduce or eliminate its dividend. This may limit the ability of the Fund to produce current income.
ESG Securities
The U.S. Equity ESG Fund will invest in securities of issuers that meet the Fund’s ESG criteria. The Fund’s adherence to its ESG criteria and the application of the Investment Adviser’s supplemental ESG analysis when selecting investments may affect the Fund’s exposure to certain companies, sectors, regions, and countries and may affect the Fund’s performance depending on whether such investments are in or out of favor. Adhering to the ESG criteria and applying the Investment Adviser’s supplemental ESG analysis may also affect the Fund’s performance relative to similar funds that do not adhere to such criteria or apply such analysis. Additionally, the Fund’s adherence to the ESG criteria and the application of the supplemental ESG analysis in connection with identifying and selecting equity investments in non-U.S. or emerging country issuers often require subjective analysis and may be
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relatively more difficult than applying the ESG criteria or the supplemental ESG analysis to equity investments of all issuers because data availability may be more limited with respect to non-U.S. or emerging country issuers. The exclusionary criteria related to the Fund’s ESG criteria may result in the Fund forgoing opportunities to buy certain securities when it might otherwise be advantageous to do so, or selling securities for ESG reasons when it might be otherwise disadvantageous for it to do so.
Currently, there is a lack of common industry standards relating to the development and application of ESG criteria, which may make it difficult to compare the Fund’s principal investment strategies with the investment strategies of other funds that integrate certain ESG criteria. Although the Fund intends to invest in issuers that the Investment Adviser believes adhere to the Fund’s ESG criteria, the subjective value that investors may assign to certain types of ESG criteria may differ substantially from that of the Fund. As a result, the Fund may invest in companies that do not reflect the beliefs and values of any particular investor. In addition, the application of the Investment Adviser’s supplemental ESG analysis may differ by asset class, country and region, and an issuer’s ESG practices may change over time. When assessing whether an issuer meets the Fund’s ESG Criteria and conducting an ESG analysis of an issuer, the Investment Adviser may rely on third-party data that it believes to be reliable, but it does not guarantee the accuracy of such third-party data. The Fund’s ESG criteria and the application of the supplemental ESG analysis may be changed without shareholder approval.
Foreign Securities
Each Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. The Large Cap Core, Concentrated Growth, Mid Cap Growth, Strategic Growth, Technology Opportunities and Equity Income Funds may each invest in the aggregate up to 25% of its total assets in foreign securities. The Flexible Cap, Small/Mid Cap Growth, Small Cap Growth, Mid Cap Value, Small Cap Value, and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds may each invest in the aggregate up to 25% of its net assets plus any borrowings in foreign securities. The U.S. Equity ESG and Large Cap Value Funds may invest up to 20% of its net assets plus any borrowings in foreign securities. The Focused Value Fund may invest up to 20% of its Net Assets in foreign securities.
Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Fund's Prospectus and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.
With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.
From time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. For example, the United Nations Security Council has imposed certain sanctions relating to Iran and Sudan and both countries are embargoed countries by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination),
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impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf.
As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, a Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.
The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.
Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.
Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, a Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. A Fund may be subject to currency exposure independent of their securities positions. To the extent that a Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.
Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent that a portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries. A Fund’s net currency positions may expose it to risks independent of its securities positions.
Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although each Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.
Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of a Fund’s assets are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses
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to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.
Each Fund may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers (together, “Depositary Receipts”).
ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in the non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security.
To the extent a Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. In addition, the issuers of Depositary Receipts may discontinue issuing new Depositary Receipts and withdraw existing Depositary Receipts at any time, which may result in costs and delays in the distribution of the underlying assets to the Fund and may negatively impact the Fund’s performance. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, a Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.
As described more fully below, each Fund may invest in countries with emerging economies or securities markets. Political and economic structures in many of such countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries. Certain of such countries have in the past failed to recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized or expropriated the assets of, or ignored internationally accepted standards of due process against, private companies. In addition, a country may take these and other retaliatory actions against a specific private company, including a Fund or the Investment Adviser. There may not be legal recourse against these actions, which could arise in connection with the commercial activities of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates or otherwise, and a Fund could be subject to substantial losses. In addition, a Fund or the Investment Adviser may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization. See “Investing in Emerging Countries,” below.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities of foreign issuers.
Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities
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may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including the Funds) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.
Investing in Europe
A Fund may operate in euros and/or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that a Fund has invested in.
European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.
Geopolitical developments in Europe have caused, or may in the future cause, significant volatility in financial markets. For example, in a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggered a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the markets of the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The longer term economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework between the United Kingdom and the EU remains unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. Additionally, the decision made in the British referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions, which may cause increased economic volatility in European and global markets. The mid-to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the value of a Fund’s investments. This may be due to, among other things: fluctuations in asset values and exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of counterparties to enter into transactions at the price and terms on which a Fund is prepared to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which certain of a Fund’s assets are or become subject. Fluctuations in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of a Fund’s assets or investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe.
The full effects of Brexit will depend, in part, on whether the United Kingdom is able to negotiate agreements to retain access to EU markets including, but not limited to, trade and finance agreements. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. The extent of the impact of the withdrawal and the resulting economic arrangements in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear, and the uncertainty may have a significant negative effect on the value of a Fund’s investments. While certain measures have been proposed and/or implemented within the UK and at the EU level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects.
On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the EU and the United Kingdom entered a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. On December 24, 2020, negotiators representing the United Kingdom and the EU came to a preliminary trade agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period. On December 30, 2020, the United Kingdom and the EU signed the TCA, which was ratified by the British Parliament on the same day. The TCA was
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subsequently ratified by the EU Parliament and entered into force on May 1, 2021. However, many aspects of the UK-EU trade relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate the form or nature of the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.
Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of a Fund’s investments.
Certain countries have applied to become new member countries of the EU, and these candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.
Investing in Russia
In addition to the risks listed above under “Foreign Securities” and “Investing in Emerging Countries,” investing in Russia presents additional risks. Investing in Russian securities is highly speculative and involves significant risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in the securities markets of the U.S. and most other developed countries. Over the past century, Russia has experienced political, social and economic turbulence and has endured decades of communist rule under which tens of millions of its citizens were collectivized into state agricultural and industrial enterprises. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s government has been faced with the daunting task of stabilizing its domestic economy, while transforming it into a modern and efficient structure able to compete in international markets and respond to the needs of its citizens. However, to date, many of the country’s economic reform initiatives have floundered as the proceeds of International Monetary Fund and other economic assistance have been squandered or stolen. In this environment, there is always the risk that the nation’s government will abandon the current program of economic reform and replace it with radically different political and economic policies that would be detrimental to the interests of foreign investors. This could entail a return to a centrally planned economy and nationalization of private enterprises similar to what existed under the old Soviet Union.
Poor accounting standards, inept management, pervasive corruption, insider trading and crime, and inadequate regulatory protection for the rights of investors all pose a significant risk, particularly to foreign investors. In addition, there is the risk that the Russian tax system will not be reformed to prevent inconsistent, retroactive, and/or exorbitant taxation, or, in the alternative, the risk that a reformed tax system may result in the inconsistent and unpredictable enforcement of the new tax laws.
Compared to most national stock markets, the Russian securities market suffers from a variety of problems not encountered in more developed markets. There is little long-term historical data on the Russian securities market because it is relatively new and a substantial proportion of securities transactions in Russia are privately negotiated outside of stock exchanges. The inexperience of the Russian securities market and the limited volume of trading in securities in the market may make obtaining accurate prices on portfolio securities from independent sources more difficult than in more developed markets. Additionally, because of less stringent auditing and financial reporting standards that apply to U.S. companies, there is little solid corporate information available to investors. As a result, it may be difficult to assess the value or prospects of an investment in Russian companies. Stocks of Russian companies also may experience greater price volatility than stocks of U.S. companies.
Because of the relatively recent formation of the Russian securities market as well as the underdeveloped state of the banking and telecommunications systems, settlement, clearing and registration of securities transactions are subject to significant risks. Prior to 2013, there was no central registration system for share registration in Russia and registration was carried out by the companies themselves or by registrars located throughout Russia. These registrars were not necessarily subject to effective state supervision nor were they licensed with any governmental entity. In 2013, Russia implemented the National Settlement Depository (NSD) as a recognized central securities depository (CSD). Title to Russian equities is now based on the records of the NSD rather than the registrars. The implementation of the NSD is expected to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the Russian securities market
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and decrease risk of loss in connection with recording and transferring title to securities. A Fund also may experience difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments in Russia.
The Russian economy is heavily dependent upon the export of a range of commodities including most industrial metals, forestry products, oil, and gas. Accordingly, it is strongly affected by international commodity prices and is particularly vulnerable to any weakening in global demand for these products.
Foreign investors also face a high degree of currency risk when investing in Russian securities and a lack of available currency hedging instruments. In a surprise move in August 1998, Russia devalued the ruble, defaulted on short-term domestic bonds, and imposed a moratorium on the repayment of its international debt and the restructuring of the repayment terms. These actions negatively affected Russian borrowers’ ability to access international capital markets and had a damaging impact on the Russian economy. In addition, there is the risk that the government may impose capital controls on foreign portfolio investments in the event of extreme financial or political crisis. Such capital controls would prevent the sale of a portfolio of foreign assets and the repatriation of investment income and capital.
Russia’s government has begun to take bolder steps, including use of the military, to re-assert its regional geo-political influence. In February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. These steps have increased tensions between its neighbors and Western countries, which may adversely affect its economic growth. These developments may continue for some time and create uncertainty in the region. Russia’s actions have induced the United States and other countries to impose economic sanctions and may result in additional sanctions in the future. Such sanctions, which impact many sectors of the Russian economy, may cause a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and adversely affect the performance of the Fund or make it difficult for the Fund to achieve its investment objectives. In certain instances, sanctions and other similar measures could prohibit the Fund from buying or selling Russian securities, rendering any such securities held by the Fund unmarketable for an indefinite period of time. In addition, such sanctions, and the Russian government’s response, could result in a downgrade in Russia’s credit rating, devaluation of its currency and/or increased volatility with respect to Russian securities. Moreover, disruptions caused by Russian military action or other actions (including cyberattacks and espionage) or resulting actual and threatened responses to such activity, including purchasing and financing restrictions, boycotts or changes in consumer or purchaser preferences, sanctions, tariffs or cyberattacks on the Russian government, Russian companies or Russian individuals, including politicians, may impact Russia’s economy and Russian issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.
Investing in Emerging Countries
The securities markets of emerging countries are less liquid and subject to greater price volatility, and have a smaller market capitalization, than the U.S. securities markets. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as stringent, extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S., and the degree of cooperation between issuers in emerging and frontier market countries with foreign and U.S. financial regulators may vary significantly. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States. In addition, U.S. regulators may not have sufficient access to adequately audit and oversee issuers. For example, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”) is responsible for inspecting and auditing the accounting practices and products of U.S.-listed companies, regardless of the issuer’s domicile. However, certain emerging market countries, including China, do not provide sufficient access to the PCAOB to conduct its inspections and audits. As a result, U.S. investors, including the Fund, may be subject to risks associated with less stringent accounting oversight.
Emerging country securities markets are typically marked by a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of ownership of such securities by a limited number of investors. The markets for securities in certain emerging countries are in the earliest stages of their development. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in emerging countries may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the securities markets of developed countries. The limited size of many of these securities markets can cause prices to be erratic for
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reasons apart from factors that affect the soundness and competitiveness of the securities issuers. For example, prices may be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions in these markets. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The limited liquidity of emerging country securities may also affect a Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests. In addition, emerging market countries are often characterized by limited reliable access to capital.
With respect to investments in certain emerging market countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on the Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder in a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of shareholders of U.S. corporations, and it may be more difficult for shareholders to bring derivative litigation. Moreover, the legal remedies for investors in emerging markets may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States, and the ability of U.S. authorities (e.g., SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors may be limited. In addition, emerging countries may have less established accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets.
Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the United States and other developed securities markets. In addition, existing laws and regulations are often inconsistently applied. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.
Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging and frontier market countries may not be fully developed. To the extent a Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and which have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.
Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions may limit a Fund’s investment in certain emerging countries and may increase the expenses of the Fund. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the company available for purchase by nationals.
The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from emerging countries may be subject to restrictions which require governmental consents or prohibit repatriation entirely for a period of time, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in such emerging countries. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect certain aspects of the operation of a Fund. A Fund may be required to establish special custodial or other arrangements before investing in certain emerging countries.
Emerging countries may be subject to a substantially greater degree of economic, political and social instability and disruption than is the case in the United States, Japan and most Western European countries. This instability may result from, among other things, the following: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision making, including changes or attempted changes in governments through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic or social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection or conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private investments and private property. Such economic, political and social instability could disrupt the principal financial markets in which the Fund may invest and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s assets. A Fund’s investments can also be adversely affected by any increase in taxes or by political, economic or diplomatic developments.
Certain Funds may seek investment opportunities within former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in Eastern European countries do not have
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an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. Any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities. In addition, Eastern European markets are particularly sensitive to social, economic and currency events in Western Europe and Russia. Russia may attempt to assert its influence in the region through military measures.
In addition, because of ongoing regional armed conflict in Europe, including a large-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, Russia has been the subject of economic sanctions imposed by countries throughout the world, including the United States. Such sanctions have included, among other things, freezing the assets of particular entities and persons. The imposition of sanctions and other similar measures could, among other things, cause a decline in the value and/or liquidity of securities issued by Russia or companies located in or economically tied to Russia, downgrades in the credit ratings of Russian securities or those of companies located in or economically tied to Russia, devaluation of Russia’s currency, and increased market volatility and disruption in Russia and throughout the world. Sanctions and other similar measures, including banning Russia from global payments systems that facilitate cross-border payments, could limit or prevent the Fund from buying and selling securities (in Russia and other markets), significantly delay or prevent the settlement of securities transactions, and significantly impact the Fund’s liquidity and performance. Sanctions could also result in Russia taking counter measures or retaliatory actions which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities. Moreover, disruptions caused by Russian military action or other actions (including cyberattacks and espionage) or resulting actual and threatened responses to such activity, including cyberattacks on the Russian government, Russian companies or Russian individuals, including politicians, may impact Russia’s economy and Russian issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.
The economies of emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. Other emerging countries, on the other hand, have recently experienced deflationary pressures and are in economic recessions. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries are vulnerable to weakness in world prices for their commodity exports.
A Fund’s income and, in some cases, capital gains from foreign stocks and securities will be subject to applicable taxation in certain of the countries in which it invests, and treaties between the U.S. and such countries may not be available in some cases to reduce the otherwise applicable tax rates. See “TAXATION.”
Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of the assets of the Fund remain uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of the Fund to make intended security purchases or sales due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, could result in possible liability to the purchaser.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.
Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts
A Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. A Fund may also enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts to increase total return. 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 agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market
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between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.
At the maturity of a forward 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 purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.
A Fund may, from time to time, engage in non deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specified (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.
A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes in several circumstances. First, when a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when a Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of a dividend or interest payment on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund may attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject 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.
Additionally, when the Investment Adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of a Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange, which a Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of a Fund’s foreign assets.
 A Fund may engage in cross hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities denominated or quoted in a different currency if the Investment Adviser determines that there is a pattern or correlation between the two currencies. In addition, certain Funds may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between a Fund's overall currency exposure and the currency exposure of a Fund's performance benchmark. The Flexible Cap, Small/Mid Cap Growth, Small Cap Growth and Focused Value Funds may also enter into forward contracts to seek to increase total return. 
While a Fund may enter into forward contracts to seek to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while a Fund may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by such Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause a Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.
Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such forward foreign currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in
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currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Since these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to continue to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity.
Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force a Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. A Fund may not enter into such transactions unless a Fund considers the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty to be investment grade. To the extent that a substantial portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts
Each Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. The futures contracts may be based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. A Fund may, under normal market conditions, engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.
Futures contracts entered into by mutual funds have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) or, with respect to certain funds, on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC, or on foreign exchanges.
Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures or foreign options transaction occurs. For these reasons, a Fund’s investments in foreign futures or foreign options transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures or foreign options contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, those persons may not have the protection of the U.S. securities laws.
Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).
When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, a Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, a Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, each Fund can purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, each Fund can purchase futures contracts
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on foreign currency to establish the price in U.S. dollars of a security quoted or denominated in such currency that the Fund has acquired or expects to acquire. In addition, certain Funds may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between a Fund's overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of a Fund's performance benchmark.
Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While a Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities or currency in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or currency whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.
Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. When a Fund uses futures contracts for hedging purposes, the Fund often seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price or rate of return on portfolio securities (or securities that the Fund proposes to acquire) or the exchange rate of currencies in which portfolio securities are quoted or denominated. A Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the dollar value of such Fund’s portfolio securities. Such futures contracts may include contracts for the future delivery of securities held by a Fund or securities with characteristics similar to those of a Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, each Fund may sell futures contracts on a currency in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for a Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in a Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser will attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having the Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting a Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.
On other occasions, a Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when a Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices or rates that are currently available.
Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give a Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, a Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.
The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of a Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, a Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that a Fund intends to purchase. However, a Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by a Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. A Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.
The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. A Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.
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Other Considerations. A Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts and options on futures involve brokerage costs and require posting margin.
While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between a Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of an imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to risk of loss.
In addition, it is not possible for a Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of a Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.
High Yield Securities
The Funds, with the exception of the U.S. Equity ESG and Concentrated Growth Funds, may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by S&P Global Ratings (“Standard & Poor’s”) or Ba1 or below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) (B or higher by Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s for Mid Cap Value Fund) or comparable rated and unrated securities. These bonds are commonly referred to as “junk bonds,” are non-investment grade, and are considered speculative. The Large Cap Core, Mid Cap Growth, Strategic Growth, Equity Income and Mid Cap Value Funds may each invest up to 10% of their total assets, and the Flexible Cap, Small/Mid Cap Growth, Technology Opportunities, Focused Value, Large Cap Value, Small Cap Value, Small Cap Growth and Small/Mid Cap Value Funds may invest up to 10%, 20%, 20%, 20%, 10%, 10%, 20%, 20% and 20% of their net assets, respectively, in non-investment grade securities. The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make principal and interest payments may be questionable because such issuers are often less creditworthy or are highly leveraged and are generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are also issued by governmental issuers that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments. In some cases, high yield securities may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will entail greater risks than those associated with investments in investment grade bonds (i.e., bonds rated AAA, AA, A or BBB by Standard & Poor's or Aaa, Aa, A or Baa by Moody’s). Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities, and the ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objective may, to the extent of its investments in high yield securities, be more dependent upon such creditworthiness analysis than would be the case if the Fund were investing in higher quality securities. See Appendix A for a description of the corporate bond and preferred stock ratings by Standard & Poor's, Moody’s, Fitch, Inc. and Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited.
The market values of high yield securities tend to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than do those of higher rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of high yield securities that are highly leveraged may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing. Their ability to service debt obligations may be more adversely affected by economic downturns or their inability to meet specific projected business forecasts than would be the case for issuers of higher-rated securities. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower-rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such high yield securities. In the lower quality segments of the fixed income securities market, changes in perceptions of issuers’ creditworthiness tend to occur more frequently and in a more pronounced manner than do changes in higher quality segments of the fixed income securities market, resulting in greater yield and price volatility. Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of high yield securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of investments fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the NAV of a Fund.
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The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by a Fund in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by a Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect its interests. A Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Fund in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Fund has not received any cash payments of such interest.
The secondary market for high yield securities is concentrated in relatively few markets and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities may not be as liquid as and may be more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities. The secondary market for high yield securities could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of the Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet their redemption requests or other liquidity needs. The Investment Adviser could find it difficult to sell these investments or may be able to sell the investments only at prices lower than if such investments were widely traded. Prices realized upon the sale of such lower rated or unrated securities, under these circumstances, may be less than the prices used in calculating the NAVs of the Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolios.
The adoption of new legislation could adversely affect the secondary market for high yield securities and the financial condition of issuers of these securities. The form of any future legislation, and the probability of such legislation being enacted, is uncertain.
Non-investment grade or high yield securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield securities frequently contain “call” or buy-back features which permit the issuer to call or repurchase the security from its holder. If an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security, a Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if a Fund experiences net redemptions of its shares, it may be forced to sell its higher-rated securities, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of its portfolio and increasing its exposure to the risks of high yield securities.
Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. Investments in non-investment grade and comparable unrated obligations will be more dependent on the Investment Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case with investments in investment-grade debt obligations. The Investment Adviser employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of an issuer’s existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and to pay dividends, sensitivity to economic conditions, operating history and current earnings trends. The Investment Adviser continually monitors the investments in the Funds’ portfolios and evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed. If after its purchase, a portfolio security is assigned a lower rating or ceases to be rated, a Fund may continue to hold the security if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
An economic downturn could severely affect the ability of highly leveraged issuers of junk bond investments to service their debt obligations or to repay their obligations upon maturity. Factors having an adverse impact on the market value of junk bonds will have an adverse effect on a Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in high yield securities.
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Illiquid Investments
Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, a Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, a Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. The Trust has implemented a liquidity risk management program and related procedures to categorize each Fund's portfolio investments and identify illiquid investments pursuant to Rule 22e-4, and the Trustees have approved the designation of the Investment Adviser to administer the Trust’s liquidity risk management program and related procedures. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that a Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, a Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.
In addition to actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the following factors, among others, will generally impact the classification of an investment as an “illiquid investment”: (i) any investment that is placed on the Investment Adviser’s restricted trading list; and (ii) any investment that is delisted or for which there is a trading halt at the close of the trading day on the primary listing exchange at the time of classification (and in respect of which no active secondary market exists). Investments purchased by a Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to these and other events and circumstances. If one or more investments in a Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, a Fund may exceed the 15% limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause a Fund to exceed this limit, a Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force a Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.
Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Equity Swaps, and Options on Swaps
The Flexible Cap and Focused Value Funds  may enter into index, interest rate, mortgage, credit, currency and total return swaps for both hedging purposes and to seek to increase total return. The Flexible Cap and Focused Value Funds may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions.
In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through FCMs that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Funds post initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.
Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices.
Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages.
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Index swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of payments based on a notional principal amount of a specified index or indices.
Currency swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Credit swaps (also referred to as credit default swaps) involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security or pool of securities. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for the payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index or an index component.
Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, as a total return swap where a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap contract would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks (or a group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. In other cases, the counterparty and the Fund may each agree to pay the difference between the relative investment performances that would have been achieved if the notional amount of the equity swap contract had been invested in different stocks (or a group of stocks).
A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption.
A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally a Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage, equity and index swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with a Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit, index, mortgage and equity swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit, index, mortgage and equity swaps is normally limited to the net amount of interest payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit, index, mortgage or equity swap defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.
In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for a gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations.
As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these cleared swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause a Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or liquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.
The use of swaps and swaptions is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, credit quality, interest
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rates and currency exchange rates, the investment performance of the Funds would be less favorable than it would have been if this investment technique were not used.
In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if a Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to liquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if a Fund invests in cleared swaps. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts that may have terms of greater than seven days. Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
Regulators are in the process of developing rules that would require trading and execution of most liquid swaps on trading facilities. Moving trading to an exchange-type system may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require a Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps.
Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.
The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in swaps.
Investments in Unseasoned Companies
Each Fund may invest in companies (including predecessors) which have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than do investments in companies with an established operating record.
Lending of Portfolio Securities
Each Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other institutions, including Goldman Sachs. By lending its securities, a Fund attempts to increase its net investment income.
Securities loans are required to be secured continuously by collateral in cash, cash equivalents, letters of credit or U.S. Government Securities equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. This collateral must be valued, or “marked to market,” daily. Borrowers are required to furnish additional collateral to the Fund as necessary to fully cover their obligations.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the Fund may reinvest that cash in short-term investments and pay the borrower a pre-negotiated fee or “rebate” from any return earned on the investment. Investing the collateral subjects it to market depreciation or appreciation, and a Fund is responsible for any loss that may result from its investment of the borrowed collateral. Cash collateral may be invested in, among other things, other registered or unregistered funds, including private investing funds or money market funds that are managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and which pay the Investment Adviser or its
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affiliates for their services. If a Fund were to receive non-cash collateral, the Fund receives a fee from the borrower equal to a negotiated percentage of the market value of the loaned securities.
For the duration of any securities loan, a Fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest, dividends or other distributions paid by the issuer on the loaned securities. A Fund will not have the right to vote its loaned securities during the period of the loan, but the Fund may attempt to recall a loaned security in anticipation of a material vote if it desires to do so. A Fund will have the right to terminate a loan at any time and recall the loaned securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions.
Securities lending involves certain risks. A Fund may lose money on its investment of cash collateral, resulting in a loss of principal, or may fail to earn sufficient income on its investment to cover the fee or rebate it has agreed to pay the borrower. A Fund may incur losses in connection with its securities lending activities that exceed the value of the interest income and fees received in connection with such transactions. Securities lending subjects a Fund to the risk of loss resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process, and to additional credit, counterparty and market risk. These risks could be greater with respect to non-U.S. securities. Engaging in securities lending could have a leveraging effect, which may intensify the other risks associated with investments in a Fund. In addition, a Fund bears the risk that the price of the securities on loan will increase while they are on loan, or that the price of the collateral will decline in value during the period of the loan, and that the counterparty will not provide, or will delay in providing, additional collateral. A Fund also bears the risk that a borrower may fail to return securities in a timely manner or at all, either because the borrower fails financially or for other reasons. If a borrower of securities fails financially, a Fund may also lose its rights in the collateral. A Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering loaned securities or in gaining access to and liquidating the collateral, which could result in actual financial loss and which could interfere with portfolio management decisions or the exercise of ownership rights in the loaned securities. If a Fund is not able to recover the securities lent, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase replacement securities in the market. However, a Fund will incur transaction costs on the purchase of replacement securities. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. In determining whether to lend securities to a particular borrower, and throughout the period of the loan, the creditworthiness of the borrower will be considered and monitored. Loans will only be made to firms deemed to be of good standing, and where the consideration that can be earned currently from securities loans of this type is deemed to justify the attendant risk. It is intended that the value of securities loaned by a Fund will not exceed one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the loan collateral).
A Fund will consider the loaned securities as assets of the Fund, but will not consider any collateral as a Fund asset except when determining total assets for the purpose of the above one-third limitation. Loan collateral (including any investment of the collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations stated elsewhere in this SAI or in the Prospectuses regarding investing in fixed income securities and cash equivalents.
The Board of Trustees has approved each Fund’s participation in a securities lending program and has adopted policies and procedures relating thereto.
For its services, the securities lending agent may receive a fee from a Fund , including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, a Fund may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. A Fund’s Board of Trustees periodically reviews reports on securities loan transactions for which a Goldman Sachs affiliate has acted as lending agent for compliance with the Fund’s securities lending procedures. Goldman Sachs may also be approved as a borrower under a Fund’s securities lending program, subject to certain conditions.
Mortgage Dollar Rolls
The Funds may enter into mortgage dollar rolls, in which a Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase similar, but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, a Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, a Fund would benefit to the extent of any difference between the price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold until the settlement date of the forward
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purchase. All cash proceeds will be invested in instruments that are permissible investments for the applicable Fund. A Fund will, until the settlement date, identify cash or liquid assets on its books, as permitted by applicable law, in an amount equal to its forward purchase price.
For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Fund treats mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. The Fund does not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and does not treat them as borrowings.
Mortgage dollar rolls involve certain risks including the following: if the broker-dealer to whom a Fund sells the security becomes insolvent, a Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase the mortgage-related securities subject to the mortgage dollar roll may be restricted. Also, the instrument which a Fund is required to repurchase may be worth less than an instrument which a Fund originally held. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls will depend upon the Investment Adviser's ability to manage a Fund’s interest rate and mortgage prepayments exposure. For these reasons, there is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. The use of this technique may diminish the investment performance of a Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls.
Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities
The Funds (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may each invest in mortgage loans, mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed-rate mortgage loans including collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) and stripped mortgage backed securities, as described below (“Mortgage-Backed Securities”).
Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.
General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities
In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non-owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential mortgage-backed securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.
The investment characteristics of adjustable and fixed rate Mortgage-Backed Securities differ from those of traditional fixed income securities. The major differences include the payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed Securities on a more frequent (usually monthly) schedule, and the possibility that principal may be prepaid at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or other assets. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed income securities. As a result, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from their anticipated levels. A prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect, increasing yield to maturity and market value. Conversely, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that a Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, the Investment Adviser may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.
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Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates. Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by a Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than a Fund was earning on the Mortgage-Backed Securities that were prepaid. Due to these factors, Mortgage-Backed Securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury and other types of debt securities of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Because a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities are interest-rate sensitive, a Fund’s performance will depend in part upon the ability of a Fund to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in market interest rates and to utilize appropriate strategies to maximize returns to a Fund while attempting to minimize the associated risks to its investment capital. Prepayments may have a disproportionate effect on certain Mortgage-Backed Securities and other multiple class pass-through securities, which are discussed below.
The rate of interest paid on Mortgage-Backed Securities is normally lower than the rate of interest paid on the mortgages included in the underlying pool due to (among other things) the fees paid to any servicer, special servicer and trustee for the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool, other costs and expenses of such trust fund, fees paid to any guarantor, such as Ginnie Mae (as defined below) or to any credit enhancers, mortgage pool insurers, bond insurers and/or hedge providers, and due to any yield retained by the issuer. Actual yield to the holder may vary from the coupon rate, even if adjustable, if the Mortgage-Backed Securities are purchased or traded in the secondary market at a premium or discount. In addition, there is normally some delay between the time the issuer receives mortgage payments from the servicer and the time the issuer (or the trustee of the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool) makes the payments on the Mortgage-Backed Securities, and this delay reduces the effective yield to the holder of such securities.
The issuers of certain mortgage-backed obligations may elect to have the pool of mortgage loans (or indirect interests in mortgage loans) underlying the securities treated as a REMIC, which is subject to special federal income tax rules. A description of the types of mortgage loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Funds may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for a Fund.
Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A sustained decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on Mortgage-Backed Securities generally (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities that the Funds may invest in as described above).
Adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which a Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by a Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which the Fund may invest) and an unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by a Fund may experience declines after they are purchased by a Fund.
General Regulatory Considerations of Mortgage-Backed Securities
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The unprecedented disruption in the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets in 2008-2009 resulted in significant downward price pressures as well as foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. As a result of these events, the liquidity of the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets was negatively impacted during that time. Following the market dislocation, the U.S. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which imposed a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general. Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies”, and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities”, in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by a Fund.
Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans
Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). A Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow a Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to a Fund.
Adjustable interest rates can cause payment increases that some mortgagors may find difficult to make. However, certain ARMs may provide that the Mortgage Interest Rate may not be adjusted to a rate above an applicable lifetime maximum rate or below an applicable lifetime minimum rate for such ARM. Certain ARMs may also be subject to limitations on the maximum amount by which the Mortgage Interest Rate may adjust for any single adjustment period (the “Maximum Adjustment”). Other ARMs (“Negatively Amortizing ARMs”) may provide instead or as well for limitations on changes in the monthly payment on such ARMs. Limitations on monthly payments can result in monthly payments which are greater or less than the amount necessary to amortize a Negatively Amortizing ARM by its maturity at the Mortgage Interest Rate in effect in any particular month. In the event that a monthly payment is not sufficient to pay the interest accruing on a Negatively Amortizing ARM, any such excess interest is added to the principal balance of the loan, causing negative amortization, and will be repaid through future monthly payments. It may take borrowers under Negatively Amortizing ARMs longer periods of time to build up equity and may increase the likelihood of default by such borrowers. In the event that a monthly payment exceeds the sum of the interest accrued at the applicable Mortgage Interest Rate and the principal payment which would have been necessary to amortize the outstanding principal balance over the remaining term of the loan, the excess (or “accelerated amortization”) further reduces the principal balance of the ARM. Negatively Amortizing ARMs do not provide for the extension of their original maturity to accommodate changes in their Mortgage Interest Rate. As a result, unless there is a periodic recalculation of the payment amount (which there generally is), the final payment may be substantially larger than the other payments. After the expiration of the initial fixed rate period and upon the periodic recalculation of the payment to cause timely amortization of the related mortgage loan, the monthly payment on such mortgage loan may increase substantially which may, in turn, increase the risk of the borrower defaulting in respect of such mortgage loan. These limitations on periodic increases in interest rates and on changes in monthly payments protect borrowers from unlimited interest rate and payment increases, but may result in increased credit exposure and prepayment risks for lenders. When interest due on a mortgage loan is added to the principal balance of such mortgage loan, the related mortgaged property provides proportionately less security for the repayment of such mortgage loan. Therefore, if the related borrower defaults on such mortgage loan, there is a greater likelihood that a loss will be incurred upon any liquidation of the mortgaged property which secures such mortgage loan.
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ARMs also have the risk of prepayment. The rate of principal prepayments with respect to ARMs has fluctuated in recent years. The value of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by ARMs is less likely to rise during periods of declining interest rates than the value of fixed-rate securities during such periods. Accordingly, ARMs may be subject to a greater rate of principal repayments in a declining interest rate environment resulting in lower yields to a Fund. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly, ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of a Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.
There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") or SOFR, the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in a Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of a Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40 years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.
Certain Legal Considerations of Mortgage Loans. The following is a discussion of certain legal and regulatory aspects of the mortgage loans in which a Fund may invest. This discussion is not exhaustive, and does not address all of the legal or regulatory aspects affecting mortgage loans. These regulations may impair the ability of a mortgage lender to enforce its rights under the mortgage documents. These regulations may also adversely affect a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities (including those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) by delaying the Fund’s receipt of payments derived from principal or interest on mortgage loans affected by such regulations.
1.
Foreclosure. A foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan may be delayed due to compliance with statutory notice or service of process provisions, difficulties in locating necessary parties or legal challenges to the mortgagee’s right to foreclose. Depending upon market conditions, the ultimate proceeds of the sale of foreclosed property may not equal the amounts owed on the Mortgage-Backed Securities. Furthermore, courts in some cases have imposed general equitable principles upon foreclosure generally designed to relieve the borrower from the legal effect of default and have required lenders to undertake affirmative and expensive actions to determine the causes for the default and the likelihood of loan reinstatement.
2.
Rights of Redemption. In some states, after foreclosure of a mortgage loan, the borrower and foreclosed junior lienors are given a statutory period in which to redeem the property, which right may diminish the mortgagee’s ability to sell the property.
3.
Legislative Limitations. In addition to anti-deficiency and related legislation, numerous other federal and state statutory provisions, including the federal bankruptcy laws and state laws affording relief to debtors, may interfere with or affect the ability of a secured mortgage lender to enforce its security interest. For example, a bankruptcy court may grant the debtor a reasonable time to cure a default on a mortgage loan, including a payment default. The court in certain instances may also reduce the monthly payments due under such mortgage loan, change the rate of interest, reduce the principal balance
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of the loan to the then-current appraised value of the related mortgaged property, alter the mortgage loan repayment schedule and grant priority of certain liens over the lien of the mortgage loan. If a court relieves a borrower’s obligation to repay amounts otherwise due on a mortgage loan, the mortgage loan servicer will not be required to advance such amounts, and any loss may be borne by the holders of securities backed by such loans. In addition, numerous federal and state consumer protection laws impose penalties for failure to comply with specific requirements in connection with origination and servicing of mortgage loans.
4.
“Due-on-Sale” Provisions. Fixed-rate mortgage loans may contain a so-called “due-on-sale” clause permitting acceleration of the maturity of the mortgage loan if the borrower transfers the property. The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 sets forth nine specific instances in which no mortgage lender covered by that Act may exercise a “due-on-sale” clause upon a transfer of property. The inability to enforce a “due-on-sale” clause or the lack of such a clause in mortgage loan documents may result in a mortgage loan being assumed by a purchaser of the property that bears an interest rate below the current market rate.
5.
Usury Laws. Some states prohibit charging interest on mortgage loans in excess of statutory limits. If such limits are exceeded, substantial penalties may be incurred and, in some cases, enforceability of the obligation to pay principal and interest may be affected.
6.
Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. Legislative, regulatory and enforcement actions seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures or providing forbearance relief to borrowers of residential mortgage loans may adversely affect the value of Mortgage-Backed Securities (e.g., the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act). Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process or are designed to protect customers could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions a Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans.
Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Each of the Funds (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) is permitted to invest in other types of Mortgage-Backed Securities that may be available in the future, to the extent consistent with its investment policies and objective.
Each Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities may include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ginnie Mae securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, which means that the U.S. Government guarantees that the interest and principal will be paid when due. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and as a result, they have historically been viewed by the market as high quality securities with low credit risks. From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating federal sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards such sponsorship or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities and the liquidity and value of a Fund’s portfolio.
There is risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. A Fund may purchase U.S. Government Securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some
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U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.
Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest.
•  Ginnie Mae Certificates. Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States. Ginnie Mae is authorized to guarantee the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that are based on and backed by a pool of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (“VA”), or by pools of other eligible mortgage loans. In order to meet its obligations under any guaranty, Ginnie Mae is authorized to borrow from the U.S. Treasury in an unlimited amount. The National Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is pledged to the timely payment of principal and interest by Ginnie Mae of amounts due on Ginnie Mae certificates.
•  Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the U.S. Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an undivided interest in a pool of mortgage loans (a “Pool”) formed by Fannie Mae. A Pool consists of residential mortgage loans either previously owned by Fannie Mae or purchased by it in connection with the formation of the Pool. The mortgage loans may be either conventional mortgage loans (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any U.S. Government agency) or mortgage loans that are either insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA. However, the mortgage loans in Fannie Mae Pools are primarily conventional mortgage loans. The lenders originating and servicing the mortgage loans are subject to certain eligibility requirements established by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has certain contractual responsibilities. With respect to each Pool, Fannie Mae is obligated to distribute scheduled installments of principal and interest after Fannie Mae’s servicing and guaranty fee, whether or not received, to Certificate holders. Fannie Mae also is obligated to distribute to holders of Certificates an amount equal to the full principal balance of any foreclosed mortgage loan, whether or not such principal balance is actually recovered. The obligations of Fannie Mae under its guaranty of the Fannie Mae Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.
•  Freddie Mac Certificates. Freddie Mac is a publicly held U.S. Government sponsored enterprise. A principal activity of Freddie Mac currently is the purchase of first lien, conventional, residential and multifamily mortgage loans and participation interests in such mortgage loans and their resale in the form of mortgage securities, primarily Freddie Mac Certificates. A Freddie Mac Certificate represents a pro rata interest in a group of mortgage loans or participations in mortgage loans (a “Freddie Mac Certificate group”) purchased by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees to each registered holder of a Freddie Mac Certificate the timely payment of interest at the rate provided for by such Freddie Mac Certificate (whether or not received on the underlying loans). Freddie Mac also guarantees to each registered Certificate holder ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans, without any offset or deduction, but does not, generally, guarantee the timely payment of scheduled principal. The obligations of Freddie Mac under its guaranty of Freddie Mac Certificates are obligations solely of Freddie Mac. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.
The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.
Under the direction of FHFA (as defined below), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform (“CSP”) for the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (“UMBS”) (the “Single Security Initiative”), which would generally align the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Certificates. The Single Security Initiative is intended to maximize liquidity for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage-Backed Securities in the “to-be-announced” market. The CSP began issuing UMBS in June 2019. While the initial effects of the issuance of UMBS on the market for mortgage-related securities have been relatively minimal, the long-term effects are still uncertain.
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Conventional Mortgage Loans. The conventional mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans normally with original terms to maturity of between five and thirty years. Substantially all of these mortgage loans are secured by first liens on one- to four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.
Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, the U.S. Treasury entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the U.S. Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock placed significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must obtain the consent of the U.S. Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.
The FHFA and the White House have made public statements regarding plans to consider ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the event that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed and what effects, if any, there may be on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s creditworthiness and guarantees of certain Mortgage-Backed Securities. It is also unclear whether the Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the senior preferred stock programs. Should Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s conservatorship end, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause losses to a Fund.
Privately Issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. A Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund)  may invest in privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. Privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities are generally backed by pools of conventional (i.e., non-government guaranteed or insured) mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally will be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.
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Mortgage Pass-Through Securities
To the extent consistent with their investment policies, the Funds (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in both government guaranteed and privately issued mortgage pass-through securities (“Mortgage Pass-Throughs”) that are fixed or adjustable rate Mortgage-Backed Securities which provide for monthly payments that are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees or other amounts paid to any guarantor, administrator and/or servicer of the underlying mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally may be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.
The following discussion describes certain aspects of only a few of the wide variety of structures of Mortgage Pass-Throughs that are available or may be issued.
General Description of Certificates. Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be issued in one or more classes of senior certificates and one or more classes of subordinate certificates. Each such class may bear a different pass-through rate. Generally, each certificate will evidence the specified interest of the holder thereof in the payments of principal or interest or both in respect of the mortgage pool comprising part of the trust fund for such certificates.
Any class of certificates may also be divided into subclasses entitled to varying amounts of principal and interest. If a REMIC election has been made, certificates of such subclasses may be entitled to payments on the basis of a stated principal balance and stated interest rate, and payments among different subclasses may be made on a sequential, concurrent, pro rata or disproportionate basis, or any combination thereof. The stated interest rate on any such subclass of certificates may be a fixed rate or one which varies in direct or inverse relationship to an objective interest index.
Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at the applicable mortgage pass-through rate, or both. The difference between the mortgage interest rate and the related mortgage pass-through rate (less the amount, if any, of retained yield) with respect to each mortgage loan will generally be paid to the servicer as a servicing fee. Because certain adjustable rate mortgage loans included in a mortgage pool may provide for deferred interest (i.e., negative amortization), the amount of interest actually paid by a mortgagor in any month may be less than the amount of interest accrued on the outstanding principal balance of the related mortgage loan during the relevant period at the applicable mortgage interest rate. In such event, the amount of interest that is treated as deferred interest will generally be added to the principal balance of the related mortgage loan and will be distributed pro rata to certificate-holders as principal of such mortgage loan when paid by the mortgagor in subsequent monthly payments or at maturity.
Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass-Throughs included in a Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.
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In the past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of mortgage-backed securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may have invested or may in the future be invested), and may continue to do so in the future. In the event that any Mortgage-Backed Security held by a Fund is placed on credit watch or downgraded, the value of such Mortgage-Backed Security may decline and the Fund may consequently experience losses in respect of such Mortgage-Backed Security.
Credit Enhancement. Mortgage pools created by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher yield than government and government-related pools because of the absence of direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, Mortgage Pass-Throughs may contain elements of credit support. Credit support falls generally into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pools of mortgages, the provision of a reserve fund, or a combination thereof, to ensure, subject to certain limitations, that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such credit support can be provided by, among other things, payment guarantees, letters of credit, pool insurance, subordination, or any combination thereof.
Subordination; Shifting of Interest; Reserve Fund. In order to achieve ratings on one or more classes of Mortgage Pass-Throughs, one or more classes of certificates may be subordinate certificates which provide that the rights of the subordinate certificate-holders to receive any or a specified portion of distributions with respect to the underlying mortgage loans may be subordinated to the rights of the senior certificate holders. If so structured, the subordination feature may be enhanced by distributing to the senior certificate-holders on certain distribution dates, as payment of principal, a specified percentage (which generally declines over time) of all principal payments received during the preceding prepayment period (“shifting interest credit enhancement”). This will have the effect of accelerating the amortization of the senior certificates while increasing the interest in the trust fund evidenced by the subordinate certificates. Increasing the interest of the subordinate certificates relative to that of the senior certificates is intended to preserve the availability of the subordination provided by the subordinate certificates. In addition, because the senior certificate-holders in a shifting interest credit enhancement structure are entitled to receive a percentage of principal prepayments which is greater than their proportionate interest in the trust fund, the rate of principal prepayments on the mortgage loans may have an even greater effect on the rate of principal payments and the amount of interest payments on, and the yield to maturity of, the senior certificates.
In addition to providing for a preferential right of the senior certificate-holders to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool, a reserve fund may be established relating to such certificates (the “Reserve Fund”). The Reserve Fund may be created with an initial cash deposit by the originator or servicer and augmented by the retention of distributions otherwise available to the subordinate certificate-holders or by excess servicing fees until the Reserve Fund reaches a specified amount.
The subordination feature, and any Reserve Fund, are intended to enhance the likelihood of timely receipt by senior certificate-holders of the full amount of scheduled monthly payments of principal and interest due to them and will protect the senior certificate-holders against certain losses; however, in certain circumstances the Reserve Fund could be depleted and temporary shortfalls could result. In the event that the Reserve Fund is depleted before the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, senior certificate-holders will nevertheless have a preferential right to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool to the extent of the then outstanding subordinated amount. Unless otherwise specified, until the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, on any distribution date any amount otherwise distributable to the subordinate certificates or, to the extent specified, in the Reserve Fund will generally be used to offset the amount of any losses realized with respect to the mortgage loans (“Realized Losses”). Realized Losses remaining after application of such amounts will generally be applied to reduce the ownership interest of the subordinate certificates in the mortgage pool. If the subordinated amount has been reduced to zero, Realized Losses generally will be allocated pro rata among all certificate-holders in proportion to their respective outstanding interests in the mortgage pool.
Alternative Credit Enhancement. As an alternative, or in addition to the credit enhancement afforded by subordination, credit enhancement for Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be provided through bond insurers, or at the mortgage loan-level through mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, or through the deposit of cash, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, a limited guaranty or by such other methods as are acceptable to a rating agency. In certain circumstances, such as where credit enhancement is provided by bond
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insurers, guarantees or letters of credit, the security is subject to credit risk because of its exposure to the credit risk of an external credit enhancement provider.
Voluntary Advances. Generally, in the event of delinquencies in payments on the mortgage loans underlying the Mortgage Pass-Throughs, the servicer may agree to make advances of cash for the benefit of certificate-holders, but generally will do so only to the extent that it determines such voluntary advances will be recoverable from future payments and collections on the mortgage loans or otherwise.
Optional Termination. Generally, the servicer may, at its option with respect to any certificates, repurchase all of the underlying mortgage loans remaining outstanding at such time if the aggregate outstanding principal balance of such mortgage loans is less than a specified percentage (generally 5-10%) of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the mortgage loans as of the cut-off date specified with respect to such series.
Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. A Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in multiple class securities including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and REMIC Certificates. These securities may be issued by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by trusts formed by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage bankers, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. In general, CMOs are debt obligations of a legal entity that are collateralized by, and multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities represent direct ownership interests in, a pool of mortgage loans or Mortgage-Backed Securities the payments on which are used to make payments on the CMOs or multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities.
Fannie Mae REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae will be obligated to distribute the principal balance of each class of REMIC Certificates in full, whether or not sufficient funds are otherwise available.
Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest on Freddie Mac REMIC Certificates and also guarantees the payment of principal as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates (“PCs”). PCs represent undivided interests in specified level payment, residential mortgages or participations therein purchased by Freddie Mac and placed in a PC pool. With respect to principal payments on PCs, Freddie Mac generally guarantees ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans without offset or deduction but the receipt of the required payments may be delayed. Freddie Mac also guarantees timely payment of principal of certain PCs.
CMOs and guaranteed REMIC Certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are types of multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities. The REMIC Certificates represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust, generally consisting of mortgage loans or Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities (the “Mortgage Assets”). The obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under their respective guaranty of the REMIC Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, respectively. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”
CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.
The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in various ways. In certain structures (known as “sequential pay” CMOs or REMIC Certificates), payments of principal, including any principal prepayments, on the Mortgage Assets generally are applied to the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.
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Additional structures of CMOs and REMIC Certificates include, among others, “parallel pay” CMOs and REMIC Certificates. Parallel pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates are those which are structured to apply principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets to two or more classes concurrently on a proportionate or disproportionate basis. These simultaneous payments are taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class.
A wide variety of REMIC Certificates may be issued in parallel pay or sequential pay structures. These securities include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until all other certificates having an earlier final distribution date have been retired and are converted thereafter to an interest-paying security, and planned amortization class (“PAC”) certificates, which are parallel pay REMIC Certificates that generally require that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date to one or more classes or REMIC Certificates (the “PAC Certificates”), even though all other principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets are then required to be applied to one or more other classes of the PAC Certificates. The scheduled principal payments for the PAC Certificates generally have the highest priority on each payment date after interest due has been paid to all classes entitled to receive interest currently. Shortfalls, if any, are added to the amount payable on the next payment date. The PAC Certificate payment schedule is taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class of PAC. In order to create PAC tranches, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the underlying mortgage assets. These tranches tend to have market prices and yields that are much more volatile than other PAC classes.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) are a type of Mortgage Pass-Through that are primarily backed by a pool of commercial mortgage loans. The commercial mortgage loans are, in turn, generally secured by commercial mortgaged properties (such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property). CMBS generally entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. CMBS will be affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying mortgage loans. The underlying mortgage loans generally are secured by income producing properties such as office properties, retail properties, multifamily properties, manufactured housing, hospitality properties, industrial properties and self-storage properties. Because issuers of CMBS have no significant assets other than the underlying commercial real estate loans and because of the significant credit risks inherent in the underlying collateral, credit risk is a correspondingly important consideration with respect to the related CMBS. Certain of the mortgage loans underlying CMBS constituting part of the collateral interests may be delinquent, in default or in foreclosure.
Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks, including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit
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watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.
CMBS held by a Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. Realized losses in respect of the mortgage loans included in the CMBS pool and trust expenses generally will be allocated to the most subordinated class of securities of the related series. Accordingly, to the extent any CMBS is or becomes the most subordinated class of securities of the related series, any delinquency or default on any underlying mortgage loan may result in shortfalls, realized loss allocations or extensions of its weighted average life and will have a more immediate and disproportionate effect on the related CMBS than on a related more senior class of CMBS of the same series. Further, even if a class is not the most subordinate class of securities, there can be no assurance that the subordination offered to such class will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust. CMBS are typically not guaranteed or insured, and distributions on such CMBS generally will depend solely upon the amount and timing of payments and other collections on the related underlying commercial mortgage loans.
Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. A Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiclass mortgage securities, issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities or non-governmental originators. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments (the interest-only, or “IO” and/or the high coupon rate with relatively low principal amount, or “IOette”), and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments (the principal-only, or “PO”), from a pool of mortgage loans.
Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. A Fund's investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in SMBS.
Non-Diversified Status
Because Focused Value Fund and Strategic Growth Fund are “non-diversified” under the Act, the Funds are subject only to certain federal tax diversification requirements. Pursuant to such requirements, each Fund must diversify its holdings so that, in general, at the close of each quarter of its taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the fair market value of each Fund’s total (gross) assets is comprised of cash, cash items, U.S. Government Securities and, securities of other regulated investment companies. and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of each Fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of their total (gross) assets is invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. Government Securities and securities of other regulated investment companies), two or more issuers controlled by each Fund and engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or certain publicly traded partnerships.
Options on Securities and Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies
Special Risks Associated with Options on Currency. An exchange-traded options position may be closed out only on an options exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series. Although a Fund will generally purchase or write 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. For some options no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that a Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs pursuant to the exercise of put options. If a Fund as an option writer is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying currency (or security quoted or denominated in that currency), or dispose of the identified assets, until the option expires or it delivers the underlying currency upon exercise.
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There is no assurance that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the relevant clearinghouse inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by an exchange of special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of customers’ orders.
A Fund may purchase and write over-the-counter options. Trading in over-the-counter options is subject to the risk that the other party will be unable or unwilling to close out options purchased or written by a Fund.
The amount of the premiums that a Fund may pay or receive may be adversely affected as new or existing institutions, including other investment companies, engage in or increase their option purchasing and writing activities.
Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices. Each Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may write (sell) call and put options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. A Fund may write such options on securities that are listed on national domestic securities exchanges or foreign securities exchanges or traded in the over-the-counter market. A Fund may also, to the extent that it invests in foreign securities, write (sell) put and call options on foreign currencies. A call option written by a Fund obligates that Fund to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. Depending upon the type of call option, the purchaser of a call option either (i) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over a fixed price (the “exercise price”) on a certain date in the future (the “expiration date”) or (ii) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over the exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. If the purchaser exercises the option, a Fund pays the purchaser the difference between the price of the security and the exercise price of the option. The premium, the exercise price and the market value of the security determine the gain or loss realized by a Fund as the seller of the call option. A Fund can also repurchase the call option prior to the expiration date, ending its obligation. In this case, the cost of entering into closing purchase transactions will determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund. All call options written by a Fund are covered, which means that such Fund will own the securities subject to the option as long as the option is outstanding or such Fund will use the other methods described below. A Fund’s purpose in writing call options is to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, a Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the underlying security.
A put option written by a Fund would obligate the Fund to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a specified price if, depending upon the type of put option, either (i) the option is exercised at any time on or before the expiration date or (ii) the option is exercised on the expiration date.
The purpose of writing such options is to generate additional income for the Fund. However, in return for the option premium, each Fund accepts the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the securities’ market value at the time of purchase.
In the case of a call option, the option may be “covered” if a Fund owns the instrument underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, liquid assets in such amount are identified on the Fund’s books) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held by it. A call option may also be covered if a Fund holds a call on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies liquid assets in the amount of the difference. A put option is also covered if a Fund holds a put on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or higher than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies on its books liquid assets in the amount of the difference.
Each Fund may also write (sell) call and put options on any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.
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A Fund may cover call options on a securities index by owning securities whose price changes are expected to be similar to those of the underlying index, or by having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities without additional cash consideration (or for additional consideration which has been identified by the Fund on its books) upon conversion or exchange of other securities in its portfolio. A Fund may also cover call and put options on a securities index by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit, that is equal to the market value of the underlying securities in the case of a call option, or the exercise price in the case of a put option, or by owning offsetting options as described above.
A Fund may terminate its obligations under an exchange traded call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Obligations under over-the-counter options may be terminated only by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to such option. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.”
Each Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. A Fund may also enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.
A Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease (“protective puts”), in the market value of securities or other instruments of the type in which it may invest. The purchase of a call option would entitle a Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities or other instruments exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.
The purchase of a put option would entitle a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of a Fund’s securities or other instruments. Put options may also be purchased by a Fund for the purpose of affirmatively benefiting from a decline in the price of securities or other instruments which it does not own. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities or other instruments decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying portfolio securities or other instruments.
A Fund would purchase put and call options on securities indices for the same purposes as it would purchase options on individual securities. For a description of options on securities indices, see “Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices” above.
Risks Associated with Options Transactions. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular exchange-traded option or at any particular time. If a Fund is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction with respect to options it has written, the Fund will not be able to sell the underlying securities or dispose of the assets identified on its books to cover the position until the options expire or are exercised. Similarly, if a Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options it has purchased, it will have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit and will incur transaction costs upon the purchase or sale of underlying securities.
Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the Options Clearing Corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.
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There can be no assurance that higher trading activity, order flow or other unforeseen events will not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation or various exchanges inadequate. Such events have, in the past, resulted in the institution by an exchange of special procedures, such as trading rotations, restrictions on certain types of order or trading halts or suspensions with respect to one or more options. These special procedures may limit liquidity.
A Fund may purchase and sell both options that are traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges and options traded over-the-counter with broker-dealers who make markets in these options. The ability to terminate over-the-counter options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations.
Transactions by each Fund in options will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded governing the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facility or are held in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. Thus, the number of options which a Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.
The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities or securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in a Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The writing of options could increase a Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.
Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Currency. A Fund (other than the U.S. Equity ESG Fund) may, to the extent that it invests in foreign securities, write and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of protecting against declines in the U.S. dollar value of foreign portfolio securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that a Fund has written is exercised, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to a Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter.
Options on currency may also be used for cross-hedging purposes, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation, or to seek to increase total return when the Investment Adviser anticipates that the currency will appreciate or depreciate in value, but the securities quoted or denominated in that currency do not present attractive investment opportunities and are not included in the Fund’s portfolio.
A currency call option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to sell a specified currency to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. A currency put option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to purchase a specified currency from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. The writing of currency options involves a risk that a Fund will, upon exercise of the option, be required to sell currency subject to a call at a price that is less than the currency’s market value or be required to purchase currency subject to a put at a price that exceeds the currency’s market value. Written put and call options on foreign currencies may be covered in a manner similar to written put and call options on securities and securities indices described under “Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices” above.
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A Fund may terminate its obligations under a call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.” A Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options purchased by the Fund.
A Fund may purchase call options on foreign currency in anticipation of an increase in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities to be acquired by a Fund are quoted or denominated. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.
A Fund may purchase put options in anticipation of a decline in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities in its portfolio are quoted or denominated (“protective puts”). The purchase of a put option would entitle a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the dollar value of a Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying currency.
In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, the Funds may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. The Funds may write (sell) put and call options on any currency in an attempt to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, in writing call options for additional income, the Funds may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, the Funds accept, in return for the option premium, the risk that they may be required to purchase the underlying currency at a price in excess of the currency’s market value at the time of purchase.
Pooled Investment Vehicles
Each Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles, including other investment companies and ETFs. A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by pooled investment vehicles in which it invests, in addition to the management fees (and other expenses) of the Fund. A Fund’s investments in other investment companies are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Act, including in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of all investment companies.
Subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC or an exemptive order obtained from the SEC, the Fund may invest in other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, beyond the statutory limits described above or otherwise provided that certain conditions are met. Some of those other investment companies may be funds for which an Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. Although each Fund does not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, each Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund. Additionally, if a Fund serves as an “acquired fund” of another Goldman Sachs Fund or unaffiliated investment company, the Fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies and private funds may be limited and, under these circumstances, the Fund’s investments in other investment companies and private funds will be consistent with applicable law and/or exemptive rules adopted by or exemptive orders obtained from the SEC. For example, to the extent the Fund serves as an acquired fund in a fund of funds arrangement in reliance on Rule 12d1-4 under the Act, the Fund would be prohibited from purchasing or otherwise acquiring the securities of an investment company or private fund if, after such purchase or acquisition, the aggregate value of the Fund’s investments in such investment companies and private funds would exceed 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets, subject to limited exceptions (including for investments in money market funds).
Each Fund may purchase shares of investment companies investing primarily in foreign securities, including "country funds." Country funds have portfolios consisting primarily of securities of issuers located in specific foreign countries or regions. 
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ETFs are shares of pooled investment vehicles issuing shares which are traded like traditional equity securities on a stock exchange. An ETF generally represents a portfolio of securities or other assets, which is often designed to track a particular market segment or index. An investment in an ETF, like one in any pooled investment vehicle, carries risks of its underlying securities. An ETF may fail to accurately track the returns of the market segment or index that it is designed to track, and the price of an ETF’s shares may fluctuate or lose money. In addition, because they, unlike other pooled investment vehicles, are traded on an exchange, ETFs are subject to the following risks: (i) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the ETF’s NAV; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF may not develop or be maintained; and (iii) there is no assurance that the requirements of the exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the ETF will continue to be met or remain unchanged. In the event substantial market or other disruptions affecting ETFs should occur in the future, the liquidity and value of a Fund’s shares could also be substantially and adversely affected.
Portfolio Turnover
Each Fund may engage in active short-term trading to benefit from price disparities among different issues of securities or among the markets for equity or fixed-income securities, or for other reasons. As a result of active management, it is anticipated that the portfolio turnover rate of the Fund may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year, and may be affected by changes in the holdings of specific issuers, changes in country and currency weightings, cash requirements for redemption of shares and by requirements which enable the Funds to receive favorable tax treatment. The Funds are not restricted by policy with regard to portfolio turnover and will make changes in their investment portfolio from time to time as business and economic conditions as well as market prices may dictate.
Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights
Each Fund  may invest in preferred stock, warrants and stock purchase rights (“rights”) (in addition to those acquired in units or attached to other securities). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default (such as a covenant default or filing of a bankruptcy petition) or other non-compliance by the issuer with the terms of the preferred stock. Often, however, on the occurrence of any such event of default or non-compliance by the issuer, preferred stockholders will be entitled to gain representation on the issuer’s board of directors or increase their existing board representation. In addition, preferred stockholders may be granted voting rights with respect to certain issues on the occurrence of any event of default.
Warrants and other rights are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price at any time during the life of the warrant. The holders of warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.
Private Investments in Public Equity
Each Fund may purchase equity securities in a private placement that are issued by issuers who have outstanding, publicly-traded equity securities of the same class (“private investments in public equity” or “PIPEs”). Shares in PIPEs generally are not registered with the SEC until after a certain time period from the date the private sale is completed. This restricted period can last many months. Until the public registration process is completed, PIPEs are restricted as to resale and the Funds cannot freely trade the securities. Generally such restrictions cause the PIPEs to be illiquid during this time. PIPEs may contain provisions that the issuer will pay specified financial penalties to the holder if the issuer does not publicly register the restricted equity securities within a specified period of time, but there is no assurance that the restricted equity securities will be publicly registered, or that the registration will remain in effect.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Each Fund may invest in shares of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in real estate or real estate related loans. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination
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of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. Like regulated investment companies such as the Funds, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by REITs in which it invests in addition to the expenses paid by a Fund.
Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by such REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires), and are subject to the risks of financing projects. REITs are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibilities of failing to qualify for the exemption from tax for distributed income under the Code and failing to maintain their exemptions from the Act. REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks.
Repurchase Agreements
Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties approved by the Investment Adviser pursuant to procedures approved by the Board of Trustees that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of the repurchase obligation. The collateral may consist of security (government or corporate) of any or no credit rating. The Funds may also enter into repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government Securities (such as foreign government securities, commercial paper, corporate bonds, mortgage loans and equities), which may be subject to additional risks. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement under which a Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by a Fund’s custodian (or subcustodian). The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to a Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at a stated rate due to a Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to a Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.
For purposes of the Act and generally for tax purposes, a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan from a Fund to the seller of the security. For other purposes, it is not always clear whether a court would consider the security purchased by a Fund subject to a repurchase agreement as being owned by a Fund or as being collateral for a loan by a Fund to the seller. In the event of commencement of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings with respect to the seller of the security before repurchase of the security under a repurchase agreement, a Fund may encounter delay and incur costs before being able to sell the security. Such a delay may involve loss of interest or a decline in value of the security. If the court characterizes the transaction as a loan and a Fund has not perfected a security interest in the security, a Fund may be required to return the security to the seller’s estate and be treated as an unsecured creditor of the seller. As an unsecured creditor, a Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and interest involved in the transaction.
Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), a Fund will direct the seller of the security to deliver additional securities so that the market value of all securities subject to the repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Certain repurchase agreements which provide for settlement in more than seven days can be liquidated before the nominal fixed term on seven days or less notice.
A Fund, together with other registered investment companies having management agreements with the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.
Risks of Qualified Financial Contracts
Regulations adopted by federal banking regulators under Dodd-Frank which took effect throughout 2019, require that certain qualified financial contracts (“QFCs”) with counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations be amended to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default rights. QFCs include, but are not limited
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to, securities contracts, commodities contracts, forward contracts, repurchase agreements, securities lending agreements and swaps agreements, as well as related master agreements, security agreements, credit enhancements, and reimbursement obligations. If a covered counterparty of a Fund or certain of the covered counterparty’s affiliates were to become subject to certain insolvency proceedings, the Fund may be temporarily unable to exercise certain default rights, and the QFC may be transferred to another entity. These requirements may impact a Fund’s credit and counterparty risks.
Short Sales Against the Box
The Funds may engage in short sales against the box. In a short sale, the seller sells a borrowed security and has a corresponding obligation to the lender to return the identical security. The seller does not immediately deliver the securities sold and is said to have a short position in those securities until delivery occurs. While a short sale is made by selling a security the seller does not own, a short sale is “against the box” to the extent that the seller contemporaneously owns or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. It may be entered into by a Fund, for example, to lock in a sales price for a security the Fund does not wish to sell immediately. If a Fund sells securities short against the box, it may protect itself from loss if the price of the securities declines in the future, but will lose the opportunity to profit on such securities if the price rises.
If a Fund effects a short sale of securities at a time when it has an unrealized gain on the securities, it may be required to recognize that gain as if it had actually sold the securities (as a “constructive sale”) on the date it effects the short sale. However, such constructive sale treatment may not apply if a Fund closes out the short sale with securities other than the appreciated securities held at the time of the short sale and if certain other conditions are satisfied. Uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of effecting short sales may limit the extent to which a Fund may effect short sales.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies
Each Fund may invest in stock, warrants, and other securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities that pool funds to seek potential acquisition opportunities. 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. 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. 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 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) prior to any acquisition or merger, a SPAC’s assets are typically invested in U.S. government securities, money market funds and similar investments whose returns or yields may be significantly lower than those of the Fund’s other investments; (iii) the 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; (iv) attractive acquisition or merger targets may become scarce if the number of SPACs seeking to acquire operating businesses increases; (v) an attractive acquisition or merger target may not be identified at all, in which case the SPAC will be required to return any remaining monies to shareholders; (vi) if an acquisition or merger target is identified, the Fund may elect not to participate in, or vote to approve, the proposed transaction or the Fund may be required to divest its interests in the SPAC, due to regulatory or other considerations, in which case the Fund may not reap any resulting benefits; (vii) the warrants or other rights with respect to the SPAC held by the Fund may expire worthless or may be redeemed by the SPAC at an unfavorable price; (viii) any proposed merger or acquisition may be unable to obtain the requisite approval, if any, of SPAC shareholders and/or antitrust and securities regulators; (ix) under any circumstances in which the Fund receives a refund of all or a portion of its original investment (which typically represents a pro rata share of the proceeds of the SPAC’s assets, less any applicable taxes), the returns on that investment may be negligible, and the Fund may be subject to opportunity costs to the extent that alternative investments would have
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produced higher returns; (x) to the extent an acquisition or merger is announced or completed, shareholders who redeem their shares prior to that time may not reap any resulting benefits; (xi) the Fund may be delayed in receiving any redemption or liquidation proceeds from a SPAC to which it is entitled; (xii) an acquisition or merger once effected may prove unsuccessful and an investment in the SPAC may lose value; (xiii) 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; (xiv) only a thinly traded market for shares of or interests in a SPAC may develop, or there may be no market at all, leaving the 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; and (xv) the values of investments in SPACs may be highly volatile and may depreciate significantly over time.
Temporary Investments
Each Fund  may, for temporary defensive purposes (and to the extent it is permitted to invest in the following), invest a certain percentage of its total assets in: U.S. Government Securities; commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard and Poor's, P-2 by Moody’s or having a comparable credit rating by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) (or if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality); certificates of deposit; bankers’ acceptances; repurchase agreements; non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year; ETFs and other investment companies; and cash items. When a Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.
 U.S. Government Securities
A Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities, which are obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”). Some U.S. Government Securities (such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance) are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. Others, such as obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, are supported either by (i) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (ii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer or (iii) only the credit of the issuer. The U.S. Government is under no legal obligation, in general, to purchase the obligations of its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government will provide financial support to U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises in the future, and the U.S. Government may be unable to pay debts when due.
U.S. Government Securities include (to the extent consistent with the Act) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may also include (to the extent consistent with the Act) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The secondary market for certain of these participations is extremely limited. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in these participations.
A Fund may also purchase U.S. Government Securities in private placements and may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury that are traded independently under the separate trading of registered interest and principal of securities program (“STRIPS”). A Fund may also invest in zero coupon U.S. Treasury securities and in zero coupon securities issued by financial institutions which represent a proportionate interest in underlying U.S. Treasury securities.
Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. The Focused Value Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities called "Treasury inflation protected securities" or "TIPS," whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on TIPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the greater of the adjusted or original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of TIPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.
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The values of TIPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates will decline, leading to an increase in the value of TIPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates will rise, leading to a decrease in the value of TIPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds TIPS, the Fund may earn less on the TIPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in TIPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for TIPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.
Any increase in principal value of TIPS caused by an increase in the consumer price index is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though the Fund holding TIPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, the Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company.
If the Fund invests in TIPS, it will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of its taxable year. If the Fund purchases such TIPS that are issued in stripped form, either as stripped bonds or coupons, it will be treated as if it had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.
Because the Fund is required to distribute substantially all of its net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), the Fund’s investment in either zero coupon bonds or TIPS may require it to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income it actually receives. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, the Fund may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.
Variable and Floating Rate Securities
The interest rates payable on certain debt securities in which a Fund may invest are not fixed and may fluctuate based upon changes in market rates. Variable and floating rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on which the interest rate is based. Moreover, such obligations may fluctuate in value in response to interest rate changes if there is a delay between changes in market interest rates and the interest reset date for the obligation, or for other reasons. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels, but they may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline.
When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments
A Fund  may purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis beyond the customary settlement time. These transactions involve a commitment by a Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date beyond the customary settlement time. The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that require a Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to a Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to a Fund and impose added operational complexity. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. A Fund will generally purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis only with the intention of completing the transaction and actually purchasing or selling the securities. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, a Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. A Fund may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. A Fund may realize capital gains or losses in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining a Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities for fixed rate obligations will be calculated from the
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commitment date. Securities purchased or sold on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or if the value of the security to be sold increases prior to the settlement date.
Zero Coupon Bonds
A Fund’s investments in fixed income securities may include zero coupon bonds. Zero coupon bonds are debt obligations issued or purchased at a discount from face value. The discount approximates the total amount of interest the bonds would have accrued and compounded over the period until maturity. A zero coupon bond pays no interest to its holder during its life and its value consists of the difference between its face value at maturity and its cost. Such investments benefit the issuer by mitigating its need for cash to meet debt service but also require a higher rate of return to attract investors who are willing to defer receipt of such cash. Such investments may experience greater volatility in market value than debt obligations which provide for regular payments of interest. Moreover, zero coupon bonds involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, the Fund will realize no cash until a specified future payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer of such securities defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The valuation of such investments requires judgment regarding the collection of futures payments. The Fund will accrue income on such investments for each taxable year which (net of deductible expenses, if any) is distributable to shareholders and which, because no cash is generally received at the time of accrual, may require the liquidation of other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy the Fund’s distribution obligations.
Special Note Regarding Regulatory Changes and Other Market Events
Federal, state, and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of a Fund or the instruments in which a Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Future legislation or regulation or other governmental actions could limit or preclude a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective or otherwise adversely impact an investment in a Fund. Furthermore, worsened market conditions, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or the perceived creditworthiness of the United States, could have a negative impact on securities markets.
The Funds' investments, payment obligations and financing terms may be based on floating rates, such as London Interbank Offer Rate (“LIBOR”), EURIBOR, SOFR and other similar types of reference rates (each, a “Reference Rate”). Certain LIBORs (e.g., all EUR and CHF LIBOR settings, the Spot Next/Overnight, 1 week, 2 month and 12 month JPY and GBP LIBOR settings, and the 1 week and 2 months US dollar LIBOR settings) ceased publication on December 31, 2021, and, in connection with those rates, the Fund has transitioned to successor or alternative reference rates as necessary. However, the publication of certain other LIBORs (e.g., the overnight, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 months USD LIBOR settings) will continue through at least June 30, 2023.  In some instances, regulators may restrict new use of LIBOR's prior to the actual cessation date. The termination of LIBOR and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on a Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition. Until then, the Fund may continue to invest in instruments that reference such rates or otherwise use such Reference Rates due to favorable liquidity or pricing.
To identify a successor rate for US dollar LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), a U.S.-based group convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was formed. The ARRC has identified SOFR as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. SOFR is a measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by the U.S. Treasury securities, and is based on directly observable U.S. Treasury-backed repurchase transactions. On December 6, 2021, the ARRC released a statement selecting and recommending forms of SOFR, along with associated spread adjustments and conforming changes, to replace references to 1-week and 2-month US dollar LIBOR. It is expected that a substantial portion of future floating rate investments will be linked to SOFR. At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of the transition to SOFR.
In advance of the expected future transition dates, regulators and market participants have worked to identify or develop successor Reference Rates (e.g., SOFR, which is likely to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR or the Bloomberg Short-Term Bank Yield Index, which seeks to measure the average yields at which large global banks access USD senior unsecured marginal wholesale funding) and spreads (if any) to be utilized in existing contracts or instruments as part of the transition away from LIBOR. Spreads (if any) to be utilized in existing contracts or instruments may be amended through market-wide protocols, fallback contractual
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provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to the Fund. It is not possible to exhaustively identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades, adversely impacting a Fund’s overall financial condition or results of operations. The impact of any successor or substitute Reference Rate, if any, will vary on an investment-by-investment basis, and any differences may be material and/or create material economic mismatches, especially if investments are used for hedging or similar purposes. In addition, although certain Fund investments may provide for a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate) if the Reference Rate becomes unavailable, certain Fund investments may not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). Accordingly, there may be disputes as to: (i) any successor or substitute Reference Rate; or (ii) the enforceability of any Fund investment that does not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates may have discretion to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate, including any price or other adjustments to account for differences between the successor or substitute Reference Rate and the previous rate. The successor or substitute Reference Rate and any adjustments selected may negatively impact a Fund's investments, performance or financial condition, including in ways unforeseen by the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates. In addition, any substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect a Fund’s performance and/or NAV, and may expose a Fund to additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks.
In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the financial sector experienced reduced liquidity in credit and other fixed income markets, and an unusually high degree of volatility, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets were impacted, issuers that had exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets were particularly affected. The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted in 2010, provides for broad regulation of financial institutions, consumer financial products and services, broker-dealers, over-the-counter derivatives, investment advisers, credit rating agencies and mortgage lending.
Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such ownership or disposition may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of the Funds' portfolio holdings.
In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and political, economic and other conditions and events (including, but not limited to, natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics, and social unrest) in one country, region, or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, the occurrence of, among other events, natural or man-made disasters, severe weather or geological events, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of disease (such as COVID-19, avian influenza or H1N1/09), epidemics, pandemics, malicious acts, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts or the occurrence of climate change, may also adversely impact the performance of a Fund. Such events may result in, among other things, closing borders, exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. Such events could adversely impact issuers, markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. A Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. Moreover, such negative political and economic conditions and events could disrupt the processes necessary for a Fund’s operations. See “Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks” for additional information on operational risks.
Moreover, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, as with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators are enacting significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including, among other things, lowering interest rates. Although interest rates in the United States remain at relatively low levels, they are expected to increase in the future. During periods when interest rates are low (or negative), a Fund’s yield (or total return) may also be low and fall below zero. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from Fund performance to the extent a Fund is exposed to such interest rates and/or volatility. Certain European countries and Japan have pursued negative interest rate policies. A negative interest rate policy is an unconventional central bank monetary policy
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tool where nominal target interest rates are set with negative value intended to help create self-sustaining growth in the local economy. To the extent a Fund holds a debt instrument with a negative interest rate, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment. If negative interest rates become more prevalent in the market, investors may seek to reallocate their investment to other income-producing assets, which could further reduce the value of instruments with a negative yield.
The SEC and its staff have rescinded and withdrawn previous guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions. The Fund’s trading of derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations is now subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit and certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless the Fund satisfies a “limited derivatives users” exception. When the Fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness (e.g., bank borrowings, if applicable) when calculating the Fund’s asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions aggregated with other indebtedness do not need to be included in the calculation of whether the Fund satisfies the limited derivatives users exception, but for funds subject to the VaR testing requirement, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions must be included for purposes of such testing whether treated as derivatives transactions or not. SEC guidance regarding the use of securities lending collateral may limit securities lending activities. These requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives, short sales, and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund. The Investment Adviser intends to monitor developments and seek to manage the Fund in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective.
Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks
An investment in a Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although the Funds attempt to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect a Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. Each Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
The Funds are also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of-service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting a Fund or its Investment Adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, Transfer Agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with the Fund’s calculation of NAV and to lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. Similar to operational risk in general, the Fund and its service providers, including GSAM, have instituted risk management systems designed to minimize the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is a risk that these systems will not succeed (or that any remediation efforts will not be successful), especially because a Fund does not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Fund, its trading counterparties or the issuers in which the Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.
The Funds may be subject to third-party litigation, which could give rise to legal liability. These matters involving the Funds may arise from their activities and investments and could have a materially adverse effect on the Funds, including the expense of defending against claims and paying any amounts pursuant to settlements or judgments. There can be no guarantee that these matters
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will not arise in the normal course of business. If the Funds were to be found liable in any suit or proceeding, any associated damages and/or penalties could have a materially adverse effect on the Funds' finances, in addition to being materially damaging to their reputation.
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The investment restrictions set forth below have been adopted by the Trust as fundamental policies that cannot be changed with respect to a Fund without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of the affected Fund. The investment objective of each Fund and all other investment policies or practices of each Fund are considered by the Trust not to be fundamental and accordingly may be changed without shareholder approval. For the purposes of the Act, a “majority” of the outstanding voting securities means the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Trust or a Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or a Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or a Fund.
For purposes of the following limitations (except for the asset coverage requirement with respect to borrowings, which is subject to different requirements under the Act), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage shall not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, a Fund. In applying fundamental investment restriction number (1) below to derivative transactions or instruments, including, but not limited to, futures, swaps, forwards, options and structured notes, the Funds will look to the industry of the reference asset(s) and not to the counterparty or issuer. With respect to the Funds’ fundamental investment restriction number (2) below, in the event that asset coverage (as defined in the Act) at any time falls below 300%, a Fund, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays) or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations, will reduce the amount of its borrowings to the extent required so that the asset coverage of such borrowings will be at least 300%.
Each Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same fundamental investment restrictions and policies as the Fund.
Large Cap Core Fund, Mid Cap Growth Fund, Equity Income Fund, Large Cap Value Fund, Mid Cap Value Fund, and Small Cap Value Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, each Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) each Fund may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act) or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33-1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) each Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) each Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) each Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) each Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions and (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
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(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
U.S. Equity ESG Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act) or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33-1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
Concentrated Growth Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund, to the extent permitted by applicable law, may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act), other affiliated investment companies and other persons or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing
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policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although a Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by a Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law. The Fund was previously registered as a non-diversified investment company. Pursuant to current positions of the SEC staff, the Fund’s classification has changed from non-diversified to diversified, and the Fund will not be able to become non-diversified unless it seeks and obtains the approval of shareholders. Accordingly, the Fund may not make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
Flexible Cap Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund, to the extent permitted by applicable law, may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act), other affiliated investment companies and other persons or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities and (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although a Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by a Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
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(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund, to the extent permitted by applicable law, may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act), other affiliated investment companies and other persons or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
Strategic Growth Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund, to the extent permitted by applicable law, may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act), other affiliated investment companies and other persons or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a
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particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
Technology Opportunities Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities); except that the Fund will invest at least 25% of its total assets in companies in one or more of the media, telecommunications, technology and/or internet industries.
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions and (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
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(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
Small Cap Growth Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (for the purposes of this restriction, the U.S. Government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries);
(2) Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies; (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions; (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act; and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;
(6) Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including, without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity; and
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
Focused Value Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (for the purposes of this restriction, the U.S. Government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries);
(2) Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;
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(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act, and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;
(6) Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity; and
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
Small/Mid Cap Value Fund
As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1) Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).
(2) Borrow money, except (a) the Fund, to the extent permitted by applicable law, may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act), other affiliated investment companies and other persons or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage in transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings.
The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions, or (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act.
(4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting.
(5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities.
(6) Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity.
(7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
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(8) Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.
For purposes of the Funds’ industry concentration policies, the Investment Adviser may analyze the characteristics of a particular issuer and instrument and may assign an industry classification consistent with those characteristics. The Investment Adviser may, but need not, consider industry classifications provided by third parties, and the classifications applied to Fund investments will be informed by applicable law.
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TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS
The Trust’s Leadership Structure
The business and affairs of the Funds are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise each Fund's daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of nine Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chair, whose duties include presiding at meetings of the Board and acting as a focal point to address significant issues that may arise between regularly scheduled Board and Committee meetings. In the performance of the Chair’s duties, the Chair will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Funds' officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chair may perform other functions as requested by the Board from time to time.
The Board meets as often as necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Currently, the Board conducts regular meetings at least six times a year, and holds special in-person or telephonic meetings as necessary to address specific issues that require attention prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet at least annually to review, among other things, investment management agreements, distribution (Rule 12b-1) and/or service plans, and related agreements, transfer agency agreements and certain other agreements providing for the compensation of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates by the Funds, and to consider such other matters as they deem appropriate.
The Board has established four standing committees — Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance and Contract Review Committees. The Board may establish other committees, or nominate one or more Trustees to examine particular issues related to the Board’s oversight responsibilities, from time to time. Each Committee meets periodically to perform its delegated oversight functions and reports its findings and recommendations to the Board. For more information on the Committees, see the section “Standing Board Committees,” below.
The Trustees have determined that the Trust’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Trustees to effectively perform their oversight responsibilities.
Trustees of the Trust
Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust as of December 29, 2022 is set forth below.
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Independent Trustees
Name,
Address and
Age1
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served2
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4
Jessica Palmer
Age: 73
Chair of the
Board of
Trustees
Since 2018
(Trustee since
2007)
Ms. Palmer is retired. She was formerly Consultant,
Citigroup Human Resources Department
(2007–2008); Managing Director, Citigroup
Corporate and Investment Banking (previously,
Salomon Smith Barney/Salomon Brothers)
(1984–2006). Ms. Palmer was a Member of the Board
of Trustees of Indian Mountain School (private
elementary and secondary school) (2004–2009).
Chair of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs Trust
and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.
103
None
Dwight L.
Bush
Age: 65
Trustee
Since 2020
Ambassador Bush is President and CEO of D.L. Bush
& Associates (a financial advisory and private
investment firm) (2002–2014 and 2017–present);
Director of MoneyLion, Inc. (an operator of a
data-driven, digital financial platform)
(2021–present); and was formerly U.S. Ambassador to
the Kingdom of Morocco (2014–2017) and a Member
of the Board of Directors of Santander Bank, N.A.
(2018–2019). Previously, Ambassador Bush served as
an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust
and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (October
2019–January 2020).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
MoneyLion, Inc.
(an operator of a
data-driven,
digital financial
platform)
Kathryn A.
Cassidy
Age: 68
Trustee
Since 2015
Ms. Cassidy is retired. She is Director, Vertical
Aerospace Ltd. (an aerospace and technology
company) (2021–present). Formerly, Ms. Cassidy was
Advisor to the Chairman (May 2014–December
2014); and Senior Vice President and Treasurer
(2008–2014), General Electric Company & General
Electric Capital Corporation (technology and financial
services companies).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
Vertical
Aerospace Ltd.
(an aerospace
and technology
company)
B-64

Name,
Address and
Age1
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served2
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4
John G. Chou
Age: 66
Trustee
Since 2022
Mr. Chou is Executive Vice President and Special
Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of
AmerisourceBergen Corporation (a pharmaceutical
and healthcare company) (2021–present); and
formerly held various executive management positions
with AmerisourceBergen Corporation, including
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
(2019–2021); Executive Vice President and Chief
Legal & Business Officer (2017–2019); and Executive
Vice President and General Counsel (2011–2017).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
None
Diana M.
Daniels
Age: 73
Trustee
Since 2007
Ms. Daniels is retired. Formerly, she was Vice
President, General Counsel and Secretary, The
Washington Post Company (1991–2006). Ms. Daniels
is a Trustee Emeritus and serves as a Presidential
Councillor of Cornell University (2013–Present);
Director of 1735 NY Investments, LLC (oversees an
investment fund that supports the mission of the
American Institute of Architects) (2022-Present);
former Member of the Legal Advisory Board, New
York Stock Exchange (2003–2006) and of the
Corporate Advisory Board, Standish Mellon
Management Advisors (2006–2007).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
None
Joaquin
Delgado
Age: 62
Trustee
Since 2020
Dr. Delgado is retired. He is Director, Stepan
Company (a specialty chemical manufacturer)
(2011–present); and was formerly Director,
Hexion Inc. (a specialty chemical manufacturer)
(2019–2022); Executive Vice President, Consumer
Business Group of 3M Company (July 2016–July
2019); and Executive Vice President, Health Care
Business Group of 3M Company (October 2012–July
2016). Previously, Dr. Delgado served as an Advisory
Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman
Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (October 2019–
January 2020).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
Stepan Company
(a specialty
chemical
manufacturer)
B-65

Name,
Address and
Age1
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served2
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4
Eileen H.
Dowling
Age: 60
Trustee
Since 2021
Ms. Dowling is retired. Formerly, she was Senior
Advisor (April 2021–September 2021); and Managing
Director (2013–2021), BlackRock, Inc. (a financial
services firm).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
None
Gregory G.
Weaver
Age: 71
Trustee
Since 2015
Mr. Weaver is retired. He is Director, Verizon
Communications Inc. (2015–Present); and was
formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Deloitte & Touche LLP (a professional services firm)
(2001–2005 and 2012–2014); and Member of the
Board of Directors, Deloitte & Touche LLP
(2006–2012).
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
Verizon
Communications Inc.
Paul C. Wirth
Age: 65
Trustee
Since 2022
Mr. Wirth is retired. Formerly, he was Deputy Chief
Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer
(2011–2020); Finance Director and Principal
Accounting Officer (2010–2011); and Managing
Director, Global Controller, and Chief Accounting
Officer (2005–2010) of Morgan Stanley.
Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust.
103
None
B-66

Interested Trustees
Name,
Address and
Age1
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served2
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4
James A.
McNamara*
Age: 60
President and
Trustee
Since 2007
Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January
2018–Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
(January 2000–December 2017); Director of
Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April
1998–December 2000); and Senior Vice President and
Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation
(January 1993–April 1998)
President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust;
Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman
Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust;
Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs Credit
Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate
Diversified Income Fund.
171
None
*
Mr. McNamara is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he holds positions with Goldman Sachs and owns securities issued by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. McNamara holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.
1
Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline Kraus.
2
Subject to such policies as may be adopted by the Board from time-to-time, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term, until the earliest of: (a) the election of his or her successor; (b) the date the Trustee resigns or is removed by the Board or shareholders, in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust; or (c) the termination of the Trust. The Board has adopted policies which provide that each Independent Trustee shall retire as of December 31st of the calendar year in which he or she reaches (a) his or her 75th birthday or (b) the 15th anniversary of the date he or she became a Trustee, whichever is earlier, unless a waiver of such requirements shall have been adopted by a majority of the other Trustees. These policies may be changed by the Trustees without shareholder vote.
3
The Goldman Sachs Fund Complex includes certain other companies listed above for each respective Trustee. As of December 29, 2022, Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 88 portfolios; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 15 portfolios (12 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 18 portfolios (7 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 46 portfolios (29 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II consisted of 2 portfolios (1 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund, Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund each consisted of one portfolio. Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund did not offer shares to the public.
4
This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.
The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and a Fund's independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of a Fund and its shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered
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individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of December 29, 2022 that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.
Jessica Palmer. Ms. Palmer has served as a Trustee since 2007 and Chair of the Board since 2018. Ms. Palmer worked at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking (previously, Salomon Smith Barney/Salomon Brothers) for over 20 years, where she was a Managing Director. While at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, Ms. Palmer was Head of Global Risk Management, Chair of the Global Commitment Committee, Co-Chair of International Investment Banking (New York) and Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets. Ms. Palmer was also a member of the Management Committee and Risk Management Operating Committee of Citigroup, Inc. Ms. Palmer was also Assistant Vice President of the International Division at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Ms. Palmer was also a member of the Board of Trustees of a private elementary and secondary school. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Palmer is experienced with financial and investment matters.
Dwight L. Bush. Ambassador Bush has served as a Trustee since 2020. Ambassador Bush also serves as President and CEO of D.L. Bush & Associates, a financial advisory and private investment firm, and Director of MoneyLion, Inc., an operator of a data-driven, digital financial platform. From 2014 to 2017, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. Prior to his service as U.S. Ambassador, he established and served as CEO of Urban Trust Bank and UTB Education Finance, LLC, an integrated provider of education credit services. Ambassador Bush was previously Vice President of Corporate Development for SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae). Formerly, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Santander Bank, N.A., JER Investors Trust, a specialty real estate finance company, and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of CASI Pharmaceuticals (formerly Entremed, Inc.) where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for several philanthropic organizations, including the Middle East Investment Initiative and the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and has served on the executive committee of Cornell University. Ambassador Bush previously served on the Trust’s Advisory Board. Based on the foregoing, Ambassador Bush is experienced with financial and investment matters.
Kathryn A. Cassidy. Ms. Cassidy has served as a Trustee since 2015. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Vertical Aerospace Ltd., a publicly-traded aerospace and technology company, where she serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. Previously, Ms. Cassidy held several senior management positions at General Electric Company (“GE”) and General Electric Capital Corporation (“GECapital”) and its subsidiaries, where she worked for 35 years, most recently as Advisor to the Chairman of GECapital and Senior Vice President and Treasurer of GE and GECapital. As Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Ms. Cassidy led capital markets and treasury matters of multiple initial public offerings. Ms. Cassidy was responsible for managing global treasury operations, including global funding, hedging, derivative accounting and execution, cash and liquidity management, cash operations and treasury services, and global regulatory compliance and reporting for liquidity, derivatives, market risk and counterparty credit risk. Formerly, Ms. Cassidy served as a Director of buildOn, a not-for-profit organization, where she served as Chair of the Finance Committee. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Cassidy is experienced with financial and investment matters.
John G. Chou. Mr. Chou has served as a Trustee since 2022. Mr. Chou currently serves as Executive Vice President and Special Advisor to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at AmerisourceBergen Corporation (“AmerisourceBergen”), where he also formerly held several executive and senior management positions since 2002, including Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Business Officer, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel. As Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Mr. Chou was responsible for managing AmerisourceBergen’s legal, regulatory, quality, privacy, global business resilience and enterprise risk management functions, among others. In addition, he previously held senior legal positions at Cigna Corporation, ARCO Chemical Europe, and Arco Chemical Company, and also practiced law at various law firms, including most recently as a member of Eckert Seamens Cherin & Mellott, LLC. Mr. Chou currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Community Services and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Committee of Seventy. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Chou is experienced with financial and investment matters.
Diana M. Daniels. Ms. Daniels has served as a Trustee since 2007. Ms. Daniels also serves as a Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Councillor of Cornell University and as a Director of 1735 NY Investments, LLC which oversees an investment fund that supports the mission of the American Institute of Architects. Ms. Daniels held several senior management positions at The Washington Post Company and its subsidiaries, where she worked for 29 years. While at The Washington Post Company, Ms. Daniels served as Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary to the Board of Directors and Secretary to the Audit Committee. Previously, Ms.
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Daniels served as Vice President and General Counsel of Newsweek, Inc. Ms. Daniels has also served as Vice Chair and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and as a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of Standish Mellon Management Advisors and of the Legal Advisory Board of New York Stock Exchange. Ms. Daniels is also a member of the American Law Institute and of the Advisory Council of the Inter-American Press Association. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Daniels is experienced with legal, financial and investment matters.
Joaquin Delgado. Dr. Delgado has served as a Trustee since 2020. Dr. Delgado is a member of the Board of Directors for Stepan Company, a publicly-traded specialty chemical manufacturer. Previously, Dr. Delgado was a member of the Board of Directors for Hexion Inc., a privately held specialty chemical manufacturer, and held several senior management positions at 3M Company, where he worked for over 30 years, most recently as Executive Vice President of 3M Company’s Consumer Business Group. As Executive Vice President, Vice President, and General Manager at 3M Company, Dr. Delgado directed mergers and acquisitions worldwide, and was responsible for managing global operations in specialized markets such as semiconductors, consumer electronics, communications, medical and office supplies and software. Dr. Delgado also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Ballet Austin, a not-for-profit organization. Additionally, he formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of MacPhail Center for Music, a not-for-profit organization. Dr. Delgado previously served on the Trust’s Advisory Board. Based on the foregoing, Dr. Delgado is experienced with financial and investment matters.
Eileen H. Dowling. Ms. Dowling has served as a Trustee since 2021. Ms. Dowling worked at BlackRock for over 10 years, where she was a Managing Director and, most recently, a Senior Advisor. While at BlackRock, Ms. Dowling held several senior management positions responsible for clients, investment products and marketing, including Global Head of Consultant Relations, Global Head of Multinationals, Global Head of the Institutional Product Group and Global Head of Institutional Marketing. She also was a member of BlackRock’s Global Operating Committee and Product Executive Committee. From 2007-2011, Ms. Dowling was a Managing Director and Global Head of Marketing at Credit Suisse Asset Management. Prior to that, over an 18-year period at Merrill Lynch, Ms. Dowling served in several roles in Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Research. Ms. Dowling currently serves as a Member of the Advisory Board and Finance Committee of New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Dowling is experienced with investment, financial and accounting matters.
Gregory G. Weaver. Mr. Weaver has served as a Trustee since 2015. Mr. Weaver has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given his extensive accounting and finance experience. Mr. Weaver also serves as a Director of Verizon Communications Inc., where he serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. Previously, Mr. Weaver was a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP for 30 years. He was the firm’s first chairman and chief executive officer from 2001–2005, and was elected to serve a second term (2012–2014). While serving as chairman at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Mr. Weaver led the audit and enterprise risk services practice, overseeing all operations, strategic positioning, audit quality, and talent matters. Mr. Weaver also served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors for six years where he served on the Governance Committee and Partner Earnings and Benefits Committee and was chairman of the Elected Leaders Committee and Strategic Investment Committee. Mr. Weaver is also a Board member and Audit Committee chair of the YMCA of Westfield, New Jersey. Mr. Weaver has also served as President of the Council of Boy Scouts of America in Long Rivers, Connecticut, President of A Better Chance in Glastonbury, Connecticut, as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and as a board member of the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, Baruch College. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Weaver is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.
Paul C. Wirth. Mr. Wirth has served as a Trustee since 2022. Previously, Mr. Wirth held various senior management positions at Morgan Stanley, where he worked for over 15 years. While with Morgan Stanley, Mr. Wirth served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer, Finance Director and Principal Accounting Officer, and Managing Director, Global Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. He also was a member of Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee and Risk Committee. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Mr. Wirth held senior positions at Credit Suisse First Boston, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and KPMG LLP. Mr. Wirth served as a member of the Board of Directors of certain Morgan Stanley subsidiaries, including Morgan Stanley Europe Holding SE, where he also served as Audit Committee Chairman. He is also a member of the St. John’s University Board of Governors since October 2020 and was previously a member of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2017. Mr. Wirth serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the ARC of Essex County, a not-for-profit organization. He also has served on the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Mr. Wirth is a certified public accountant. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Wirth is experienced with financial and investment matters.
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James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as a Trustee and President of the Trust since 2007 and has served as an officer of the Trust since 2001. Mr. McNamara is an Advisory Director to Goldman Sachs. Prior to retiring as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in 2017, Mr. McNamara was head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM and was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.
Officers of the Trust
Information pertaining to the officers of the Trust as of December 29, 2022 is set forth below.
Name, Age
and Address
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
James A. McNamara
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 60
Trustee and
President
Since 2007
Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present);
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000 – December 2017);
Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 –
December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus
Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 –
April 1998).President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman
Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP
and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund;
and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.
Joseph F. DiMaria
30 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Age: 54
Treasurer,
Principal Financial
Officer and
Principal
Accounting
Officer
Since 2017
(Treasurer and
Principal Financial
Officer since
2019)
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (November 2015 – Present) and
Vice President – Mutual Fund Administration, Columbia Management
Investment Advisers, LLC (May 2010 – October 2015).Treasurer,
Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting
Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer
(2016)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant
Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Trust II (previously Assistant
Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund
(previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust
(previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II;
Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate
Diversified Income Fund.
Julien Yoo
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 51
Chief Compliance
Officer
Since 2019
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice
President, Goldman Sachs (December 2014–December 2019); and
Vice President, Morgan Stanley Investment Management
(2005–2010).Chief Compliance Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust;
Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II;
Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market
Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC;
Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs
Middle Market Lending LLC II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF
Trust II; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs
Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.
B-70

Name, Age
and Address
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Peter W. Fortner
30 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Age: 64
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2000
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (July 2000–Present); Principal
Accounting Officer and Treasurer, Commerce Bank Mutual Fund
Complex (2008–Present); Treasurer of Goldman Sachs
Philanthropy Fund (2019–Present); and Treasurer of Ayco Charitable
Foundation (2020–Present). Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs
Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust
II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs Credit
Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified
Income Fund.
Allison Fracchiolla
30 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Age: 39
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2014
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2013–Present).Assistant
Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified
Income Fund.
Tyler Hanks
222 S. Main St
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Age: 40
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2019
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2016—Present); and
Associate, Goldman Sachs (January 2014—January 2016). Assistant
Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF
Trust II; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs
Real Estate Diversified Income Fund. 
Kirsten Frivold Imohiosen
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 52
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2019
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); and Vice
President, Goldman Sachs (May 1999–December 2017).Assistant
Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private
Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market
Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.;
Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman
Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate
Diversified Income Fund.
Steven Z. Indich
30 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Age: 53
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2019
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (February 2010 – Present).Assistant
Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private
Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market
Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.;
Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman
Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate
Diversified Income Fund.
B-71

Name, Age
and Address
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Carol Liu
30 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Age: 47
Assistant
Treasurer
Since 2019
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (October 2017 – Present); Tax
Director, The Raine Group LLC (August 2015 – October 2017); and
Tax Director, Icon Investments LLC (January 2012 – August
2015).Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs
Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs
MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.;
Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs
Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market
Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust
II; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real
Estate Diversified Income Fund.
Christopher Bradford
200 West StreetNew York,
NY 10282Age: 41
Vice President
Since 2020
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2014–Present).Vice
President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified
Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund.
Kenneth Cawley
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Age: 52
Vice President
Since 2021
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2017 – Present), Vice President
(December 1999–2017); Associate (December 1996–December 1999);
Associate, Discover Financial (August 1994–December 1996).Vice
President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.
Anney Chi
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 39
Vice President
Since 2022
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2014–Present).Vice
President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified
Income Fund.
TP Enders
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 54
Vice President
Since 2021
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2012–Present); Vice
President, Goldman Sachs (April 2004–December 2011)Vice
President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy
Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman
Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.
Frank Murphy
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 48
Vice President
Since 2019
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2015 – Present); Vice President,
Goldman Sachs (2003 – 2014); Associate, Goldman Sachs (2001 –
2002); and Analyst, Goldman Sachs (1999 – 2001).Vice
President—Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable
Insurance Trust.
B-72

Name, Age
and Address
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Caroline L. Kraus
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 45
Secretary
Since 2012
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016–Present); Vice
President, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2015); Senior
Counsel, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Associate General
Counsel, Goldman Sachs (2012–December 2019); Assistant General
Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2011); and
Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP
(2002–2006).Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant
Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust
(previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Trust II;
Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market
Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC;
Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP
and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman
Sachs ETF Trust II; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and
Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.
David A. Fishman
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 58
Assistant
Secretary
Since 2001
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 2001 – Present); and
Vice President, Goldman Sachs (1997 – December 2001).Assistant
Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable
Insurance Trust.
Shaun Cullinan
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 43
Assistant
Secretary
Since 2018
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2018 – Present); Vice President,
Goldman Sachs (2009 – 2017); Associate, Goldman Sachs (2006 –
2008); Analyst, Goldman Sachs (2004 – 2005).Assistant
Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance
Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.
Robert Griffith
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Age: 48
Assistant
Secretary
Since 2022
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (September 2022 – Present);
General Counsel, Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (October 2021 –
September 2022); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 –
October 2021); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs
(December 2014 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman
Sachs (August 2011 – December 2014); Vice President and Counsel,
Nomura Holding America, Inc. (2010 – 2011); and Associate, Simpson
Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005 – 2010).Assistant Secretary—Goldman
Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs
Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust II;
Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman
Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

1
Officers hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each officer holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.
Standing Board Committees
The Audit Committee oversees the audit process and provides assistance to the Board with respect to fund accounting, tax compliance and financial statement matters. In performing its responsibilities, the Audit Committee selects and recommends annually to the Board an independent registered public accounting firm to audit the books and records of the Trust for the ensuing
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year, and reviews with the firm the scope and results of each audit. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Audit Committee and Mr. Weaver serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee held four meetings during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2022.
The Governance and Nominating Committee has been established to: (i) assist the Board in matters involving mutual fund governance, which includes making recommendations to the Board with respect to the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities in governing the Funds and overseeing the Funds' management; (ii) select and nominate candidates for appointment or election to serve as Independent Trustees; and (iii) advise the Board on ways to improve its effectiveness. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Governance and Nominating Committee. The Governance and Nominating Committee held four meetings during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2022. As stated above, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Funds' Prospectuses and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs Trust Governance and Nominating Committee.
The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Funds; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Funds, of the Funds' Investment Adviser, Distributor, administrator (if any), and Transfer Agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters. The Compliance Committee met six times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2022. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Compliance Committee.
The Contract Review Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the processes of the Board for reviewing and monitoring performance under the Funds' investment management, distribution, transfer agency and certain other agreements with the Funds' Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Funds' distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans, whether or not such plans and agreements are adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Act. The Contract Review Committee also provides appropriate assistance to the Board in connection with the Board’s approval, oversight and review of the Funds' other service providers including, without limitation, the Funds' custodian/accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. The Contract Review Committee met two times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2022. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee.
Risk Oversight
The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Funds, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Funds is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Funds include, but are not limited to, liquidity risk, investment risk, compliance risk, operational risk, reputational risk, credit risk and counterparty risk. Each of GSAM and the other service providers have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management may differ from the Funds and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Funds or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Funds or GSAM, its affiliates or other service providers.
The Board effectuates its oversight role primarily through regular and special meetings of the Board and Board committees. In certain cases, risk management issues are specifically addressed in reports, presentations and discussions. For example, on an annual basis, GSAM will provide the Board with a written report that addresses the operation, adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s liquidity risk management program, which is designed to assess and manage the Funds' liquidity risk. GSAM also has a risk management team that assists GSAM in managing investment risk. Representatives from the risk management team meet regularly