2022-06-14MSIFTDiscoveryPortfolio_485B_PSP_January2023
 
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust

Global Strategist Portfolio

Prospectus   |   January 27, 2023 
Share Class
Ticker Symbol
Class I
MPBAX
Class A
MBAAX
Class L
MSDLX
Class C
MSSOX
Class R6
MGPOX
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission  have not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. An investment in the Fund involves investment risks, and you may lose money in the Fund.
IFTGLBSTRATPRO 01/23 

 
 
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio 
Investment Objective
The Global Strategist Portfolio (the “Fund”) seeks above-average total return over a market cycle of three to five years.
Fees and Expenses
The table below describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. You may pay fees other than the fees and expenses of the Fund, such as brokerage commissions and other fees charged by financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below.
For purchases of Class A shares, you may qualify for a sales charge discount if the cumulative net asset value per share (“NAV”) of Class A shares of the Fund being purchased in a single transaction, together with the NAV of any Class A, Class L and Class C shares of the Fund already held in Related Accounts (as defined in the section of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Sales Charges Applicable to Purchases of Class A Shares”) as of the date of the transaction as well as Class A, Class L and Class C shares of any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund excluding Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios (as defined in the section of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Exchange Privilege”) and including shares of Morgan Stanley Money Market Funds (as defined in the section of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Exchange Privilege”) that you acquired in an exchange of Class A, Class L or Class C shares of the Fund or Class A, Class L or Class C shares of another Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund excluding Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios already held in Related Accounts as of the date of the transaction, amounts to $50,000 or more.   More information about this combined purchase discount and other discounts is available from your financial intermediary, on page 27 of the Prospectus in the section entitled “Shareholder Information—Sales Charges Applicable to Purchases of Class A Shares” and in Appendix A attached to the Prospectus.  
Class I shares may be available on brokerage platforms of firms that have agreements with the Fund’s principal underwriter permitting such firms to (i) offer Class I shares solely when acting as an agent for the investor and (ii) impose on an investor transacting in Class I shares through such platforms a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the broker. Shares of the Fund are available in other share classes that have different fees and expenses.
Shareholder Fees  (fees paid directly from your investment)
 
Class I
Class A
Class L
Class C
Class R6
Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
None
5.25%
None
None
None
Maximum deferred sales charge (load) (as a percentage based on the lesser of the offering price or NAV at redemption)
None
None1
None
1.00%2
None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses  (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
 
Class I
Class A
Class L
Class C
Class R6
Advisory Fee3
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
Distribution and/or Shareholder Service (12b-1) Fee
None
0.25%
0.75%
1.00%
None
Other Expenses4
0.38%
0.35%
0.36%
0.47%
0.26%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses
0.01%
0.01%
0.01%
0.01%
0.01%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 5
0.84%
1.06%
1.57%
1.93%
0.72%
Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement5
0.09%
0.00%
0.00%
0.08%
0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement5
0.75%
1.06%
1.57%
1.85%
0.72%
Example
The example below is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund, your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same (except that the example incorporates the fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement arrangement for only the first year). After eight years, Class C shares of the Fund generally will convert automatically to Class A shares of the Fund. The example for Class C shares reflects the conversion to Class A shares after eight years. Please refer to the section of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Conversion Features” for more information. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
If You SOLD Your Shares
 
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
Class I
$77
$259
$457
$1,029
Class A
$627
$845
$1,079
$1,751
Class L
$160
$496
$855
$1,867
Class C
$288
$598
$1,034
$2,021
Class R6
$74
$230
$401
$894
If You HELD Your Shares
 
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
Class I
$77
$259
$457
$1,029
Class A
$627
$845
$1,079
$1,751
Class L
$160
$496
$855
$1,867
Class C
$188
$598
$1,034
$2,021
Class R6
$74
$230
$401
$894
1 Investments in Class A shares that are not subject to any sales charges at the time of purchase are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) of 1.00% that will be imposed if you sell your shares within 12 months after purchase, except for certain specific circumstances. See “Shareholder Information—How To Redeem Fund Shares” for further information about the CDSC waiver categories.
2 The Class C CDSC is only applicable if you sell your shares within one year after the last day of the month of purchase. See “Shareholder Information—How To Redeem Fund Shares” for a complete discussion of the CDSC.
3 “Advisory Fee” includes the management fee of the Subsidiary (as defined below). The Fund’s “Adviser,” Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc., has agreed to waive or credit a portion of the advisory fee in an amount equal to the management fee paid to the Adviser by the Subsidiary.
4 “Other Expenses” include expenses of the Fund’s and Subsidiary’s most recent fiscal year.
5 The Fund’s Adviser has agreed to reduce its advisory fee and/or reimburse the Fund so that Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses, excluding acquired fund fees and expenses (as applicable), certain investment related expenses, taxes, interest and other extraordinary expenses (including litigation), will not exceed 0.74% for Class I, 1.09% for Class A, 1.59% for Class L, 1.84% for Class C and 0.71% for Class R6. The fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements will continue for at least one year from the date of this Prospectus or until such time as the Board of Trustees of Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust (the “Trust”) acts to discontinue all or a portion of such waivers and/or reimbursements when it deems such action is appropriate.
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 93% of the average value of its portfolio.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Adviser and/or “Sub-Adviser,” Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited, seek to achieve the Fund’s investment objective by investing primarily in a blend of equity and fixed-income securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers. Equity securities may include common and preferred stocks, depositary receipts, convertible securities, equity-linked securities, real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), rights and warrants to purchase equity securities and limited partnership interests. Fixed-income securities may include mortgage-related or mortgage-backed securities, floating rate securities, inflation-linked fixed-income securities, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. governments, their agencies or instrumentalities, corporate bonds and notes issued by U.S. and non-U.S. entities.
The Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser will utilize a top-down investment approach that focuses on asset class, sector, region, country and currency and thematic allocations. The Fund’s allocations will be based upon the Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s evaluations and analyses, taking into account results of its fundamental market research and recommendations generated by the Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s quantitative models. The Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s research process focuses on the following factors across asset classes: 1) valuation (both relative and absolute), 2) dynamics, including earnings revisions, interest rate policy and inflation expectations and 3) technicals, such as investor flows and sentiment. The Fund may invest in any country, including developing or emerging market countries. The Fund’s investments may be U.S. and non-U.S. dollar denominated. In determining whether to sell a security, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser consider a number of factors, including changes in capital appreciation potential, or the overall assessment of asset class, sector, region, country, and currency and thematic allocation shifts.
The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in below investment grade fixed-income securities (commonly referred to as “junk bonds”). The Fund may also invest in restricted and illiquid securities. The mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
include mortgage pass-through securities that represent a participation interest in a pool of mortgage loans originated by U.S. governmental or private lenders such as banks.
The Fund may also invest up to 10% of its total assets in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”).
The Fund may, but it is not required to, use derivatives and similar instruments for a variety of purposes, including hedging, risk management, Fund management or to earn income. The Fund’s use of derivatives may involve the purchase and sale of derivative instruments such as futures, options, swaps and structured investments (including commodity-linked notes), and other similar instruments and techniques. The Fund may utilize foreign currency forward exchange contracts, which are also derivatives, in connection with its investments in foreign securities. Derivative instruments used by the Fund will be counted toward the Fund’s exposure to the types of securities listed above to the extent they have economic characteristics similar to such securities.
The Fund may, consistent with its principal investment strategies, invest up to 25% of its total assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized as a company under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary may invest, directly or indirectly through the use of derivatives, in securities, commodities, commodity-related instruments and other investments, primarily futures, swaps and notes. The Subsidiary is advised by the Adviser.
Investments in the Subsidiary are intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodities markets within the limitations of the federal tax requirements that apply to the Fund. The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include, but are not limited to, total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).
Principal Risks
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective, and you can lose money investing in this Fund. The principal risks of investing in the Fund include:
Equity Securities. In general, prices of equity securities are more volatile than those of fixed-income securities. The prices of equity securities fluctuate, and sometimes widely fluctuate, in response to activities specific to the issuer of the security as well as factors unrelated to the fundamental condition of the issuer, including general market, economic, political conditions and public health conditions. To the extent that the Fund invests in convertible securities, and the convertible security’s investment value is greater than its conversion value, its price will be likely to increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise. If the conversion value exceeds the investment value, the price of the convertible security will tend to fluctuate directly with the price of the underlying security. During periods when equity securities experience heightened volatility, such as during periods of market, economic or financial uncertainty or distress, the Fund’s investments in equity securities may be subject to heightened risks.
 
Fixed-Income Securities. Fixed-income securities are subject to the risk of the issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on its obligations (i.e., credit risk) and are subject to price volatility resulting from, among other things, interest rate sensitivity (i.e., interest rate risk), market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (i.e., market risk). The Fund may face a heightened level of interest rate risk in times of monetary policy change and/or uncertainty, such as when the Federal Reserve Board adjusts a quantitative easing program and/or changes rates. A changing interest rate environment increases certain risks, including the potential for periods of volatility, increased redemptions, shortened durations (i.e., prepayment risk) and extended durations (i.e., extension risk). The Fund is not limited as to the maturities (when a debt security provides its final payment) or durations (measure of interest rate sensitivity) of the securities in which it may invest. Securities with longer durations are likely to be more sensitive to changes in interest rates, generally making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Lower rated fixed-income securities have greater volatility because there is less certainty that principal and interest payments will be made as scheduled. A portion of the Fund’s fixed-income securities may be rated below investment grade. Investing in emerging markets intensifies this risk, because lower quality fixed-income securities are more volatile in price.
 
High Yield Securities (“Junk Bonds”). The Fund’s investments in high yield securities expose it to a substantial degree of credit risk. Investing in emerging markets intensifies risk, because high yield securities may be more volatile in price in certain environments. High yield securities may be issued by companies that are restructuring, are smaller and less creditworthy or are more highly indebted than other companies, and therefore they may have more difficulty making scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities and may be considered speculative. High yield securities may experience reduced liquidity, and sudden and substantial decreases in price. An economic downturn affecting an issuer of high yield securities may result in an increased incidence of default. In the event of a default, the Fund may incur additional expenses to seek recovery.
 
Mortgage-Backed Securities. Mortgage-backed securities entail prepayment risk, which generally increases during a period of falling interest rates. Rising interest rates tend to discourage refinancings, with the result that the average life and volatility of
 
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
mortgage-backed securities will increase and market price will decrease. Rates of prepayment, faster or slower than expected by the Adviser, could reduce the Fund’s yield, increase the volatility of the Fund and/or cause a decline in NAV. Mortgage-backed securities are also subject to extension risk, which is the risk that rising interest rates could cause mortgages or other obligations underlying the securities to be prepaid more slowly than expected, thereby lengthening the duration of such securities, increasing their sensitivity to interest rate changes and causing their prices to decline. Certain mortgage-backed securities may be more volatile and less liquid than other traditional types of debt securities. In addition, mortgage-backed securities are subject to credit risk. The Fund may invest in non-agency 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. Non-agency mortgage-backed securities are not subject to the same underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those mortgage-backed securities that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. As a result, the mortgage loans underlying non-agency mortgage-backed securities may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, credit risk or other underwriting characteristics than government or government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities and have wider variances in a number of terms including interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. 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 the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include subprime mortgages. Furthermore, mortgage-backed securities may be subject to risks associated with the assets underlying those securities, such as a decline in value. Investments in mortgage-backed securities may give rise to a form of leverage (indebtedness) and may cause the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate to appear higher. Leverage may cause the Fund to be more volatile than if the Fund had not been leveraged. The risks associated with mortgage-backed securities typically become elevated during periods of distressed economic, market, health and labor conditions. In particular, increased levels of unemployment, delays and delinquencies in payments of mortgage and rent obligations, and uncertainty regarding the effects and extent of government intervention with respect to mortgage payments and other economic matters may adversely affect the Fund’s investments in mortgage-backed securities.
 
REITs. Investing in REITs exposes investors to the risks of owning real estate directly, as well as to risks that relate specifically to the way in which REITs are organized and operated. Operating REITs requires specialized management skills and the Fund indirectly bears management expenses along with the direct expenses of the Fund. REITs are also subject to certain provisions under federal tax law and the failure of a company to qualify as a REIT could have adverse consequences for the Fund.
 
Foreign and Emerging Market Securities. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political (including geopolitical), economic and market risks. There also may be greater market volatility, less reliable financial information, less stringent investor protections and disclosure standards, higher transaction and custody costs, decreased market liquidity and less government and exchange regulation associated with investments in foreign markets. In addition, investments in certain foreign markets that have historically been considered stable may become more volatile and subject to increased risk due to ongoing developments and changing conditions in such markets. Moreover, the growing interconnectivity of global economies and financial markets has increased the probability that adverse developments and conditions in one country or region will affect the stability of economies and financial markets in other countries or regions. Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trading patterns, trade barriers and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. Investments in foreign markets may also be adversely affected by governmental actions such as the imposition of capital controls, nationalization of companies or industries, expropriation of assets or the imposition of punitive taxes. The governments of certain countries may prohibit or impose substantial restrictions on foreign investing in their capital markets or in certain sectors or industries. In addition, a foreign government may limit or cause delay in the convertibility or repatriation of its currency which would adversely affect the U.S. dollar value and/or liquidity of investments denominated in that currency. Certain foreign investments may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions, or become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. When the Fund holds illiquid investments, its portfolio may be harder to value. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than the risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Certain emerging market countries may be subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping and therefore, material information related to an investment may not be available or reliable. Certain emerging market or developing countries are among the largest debtors to commercial banks and foreign governments. The issuer or governmental authority that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or pay interest when due in accordance with the terms of such obligations. In addition, foreign governments may default on their debt securities, which may require holders of such securities to participate in debt rescheduling or additional lending to defaulting governments. Moreover, there is no bankruptcy proceeding by which defaulted sovereign debt may be collected in whole or in part. In addition, the Fund is limited in its ability to exercise its legal rights or enforce a counterparty’s legal obligations in certain jurisdictions outside of the United States, in particular, in emerging market countries. In addition, the Fund’s investments in foreign issuers may be denominated in foreign currencies and therefore, to the extent unhedged, the value of those investments will fluctuate with U.S. dollar exchange rates. To the extent hedged by the use of foreign currency forward exchange contracts, the precise matching of the foreign currency forward exchange 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. There is additional risk that such
 
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Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
transactions may reduce or preclude the opportunity for gain if the value of the currency should move in the direction opposite to the position taken and that foreign currency forward exchange contracts create exposure to currencies in which the Fund’s securities are not denominated. The use of foreign currency forward exchange contracts involves the risk of loss from the insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty to the contract or the failure of the counterparty to make payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the contract. Economic sanctions or other similar measures may be, and have been, imposed against certain countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals. Economic sanctions and other similar measures could, among other things, effectively restrict or eliminate the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities, negatively impact the value or liquidity of  the Fund’s investments, significantly delay or prevent the settlement of the Fund’s securities transactions, force the Fund to sell or otherwise dispose of investments at inopportune times or prices, or impair the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective or invest in accordance with its investment strategies.
 
U.S. Government Securities. Different types of U.S. government securities are subject to different levels of credit risk, including the risk of default, depending on the nature of the particular government support for that security. For example, a U.S. government-sponsored entity, such as Federal National Mortgage Association or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, although chartered or sponsored by an Act of Congress, may issue securities that are neither insured nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. With respect to U.S. government securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, there is the risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to such U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law.
 
Liquidity. The Fund may make investments that are illiquid or restricted or that may become illiquid or less liquid in response to overall economic conditions or adverse investor perceptions, and which may entail greater risk than investments in other types of securities. These investments may be more difficult to value or sell, particularly in times of market turmoil, and there may be little trading in the secondary market available for particular securities. Liquidity risk may be magnified in a market where credit spread and interest rate volatility is rising and where investor redemptions from fixed-income mutual funds may be higher than normal. If the Fund is forced to sell an illiquid or restricted security to fund redemptions or for other cash needs, it may be forced to sell the security at a loss or for less than its fair value.
 
Derivatives.  Derivatives and other similar instruments often have risks similar to those of the underlying asset or instrument, including market risk, and may have additional risks, including imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying asset, risks of default by the counterparty to certain transactions, magnification of losses incurred due to changes in the market value of the securities, instruments, indices or interest rates to which the derivative instrument relates, risks that the transactions may not be liquid, risks arising from margin and payment requirements, risks arising from mispricing or valuation complexity and operational and legal risks. Certain derivative transactions may give rise to a form of leverage. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Investments in currency derivatives may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the Adviser expects. Foreign currency forward exchange contracts and currency futures and options contracts create exposure to currencies in which the Fund’s securities are not denominated.
 
LIBOR Discontinuance or Unavailability Risk. The London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) is intended to represent the rate at which contributing banks may obtain short-term borrowings from each other in the London interbank market. The Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which is the regulatory authority that oversees financial services firms, financial markets in the U.K. and the administrator of LIBOR, announced that, after the end of 2021, one-week and two-month U.S. Dollar LIBOR and all non-U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings have either ended or are no longer representative of the underlying market they seek to measure. The FCA also announced that the most commonly used U.S. dollar LIBOR settings  may continue to be provided on a representative basis until mid-2023. However, in connection with supervisory guidance from regulators, some regulated entities may no longer enter into most new LIBOR-based contracts. As a result of the foregoing, LIBOR may no longer be available or no longer deemed an appropriate reference rate upon which to determine the interest rate on or impacting certain loans, notes, derivatives and other instruments or investments held by the Fund.
 
Investment Company Securities. Subject to the limitations set forth in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or as otherwise permitted by the SEC, the Fund may acquire shares in other investment companies, including foreign investment companies and ETFs, which may be managed by the Adviser or its affiliates. The market value of the shares of other investment companies may differ from the NAV of the Fund. The shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to their NAV. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that entity’s expenses, including its investment advisory and administration fees. At the same time, the Fund would continue to pay its own advisory and administration fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders, in effect, will be absorbing duplicate levels of fees with respect to investments in other investment companies.
 
Subsidiary Risk. The Subsidiary is not registered under the  1940 Act and is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to operate as described herein and could adversely affect the Fund. By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary’s investments.
 
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Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
Tax Risk. The Fund may seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary. Historically, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has issued private letter rulings in which the IRS specifically concluded that income and gains from investments in commodity index-linked structured notes (the “Notes Rulings”) or a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked instruments are “qualifying income” for purposes of compliance with Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Fund has not received such a private letter ruling, and is not able to rely on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers. The IRS recently issued a revenue procedure, which states that the IRS will not in the future issue private letter rulings that would require a determination of whether an asset (such as a commodity index-linked note) is a “security” under the 1940 Act. In connection with issuing such revenue procedure, the IRS has revoked the Notes Rulings. The IRS also recently issued final regulations that would generally treat the Fund’s income inclusion with respect to the Subsidiary as qualifying income either if (A) there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the Subsidiary that are attributable to such income inclusion or (B) such inclusion is derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies. The Fund intends to treat its income from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. No assurances can be provided that the IRS would not be able to successfully assert that the Fund’s income from such investments was not “qualifying income,” in which case the Fund would fail to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code if over 10% of its gross income was derived from these investments. If the Fund failed to qualify as a regulated investment company, it would be subject to federal and state income tax on all of its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates with no deduction for any distributions paid to shareholders, which would significantly adversely affect the returns to, and could cause substantial losses for, Fund shareholders. The Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiary. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns.
 
China Risk. Investments in securities of Chinese issuers involve risks associated with investments in foreign markets as well as special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. For example, the Chinese government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, the Chinese government has taken actions that influenced the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encouraged companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induced mergers between companies in certain industries and induced private companies to publicly offer their securities. Investments in China involve risk of a total loss due to government action or inaction. Additionally, the Chinese economy is export-driven and highly reliant on trade. Adverse changes to the economic conditions of its primary trading partners, such as the United States, Japan and South Korea, would adversely impact the Chinese economy and the Fund’s investments. Moreover, a slowdown in other significant economies of the world, such as the United States, the European Union and certain Asian countries, may adversely affect economic growth in China. An economic downturn in China would adversely impact the Fund’s investments. In addition, certain securities are, or may in the future, become restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such restricted securities and incur a loss as a result.
 
 
Risks of Investing through Bond Connect. The Fund may invest in fixed-income instruments listed and traded through the Bond Connect program (“Bond Connect”). Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. Moreover, fixed-income instruments purchased through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules. The Bond Connect program is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation and guidance. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the Fund’s investments or returns.
Market and Geopolitical Risk. The value of your investment in the Fund is based on the values of the Fund’s investments, which may change due to economic and other events that affect markets generally, as well as those that affect particular regions, countries, industries, companies or governments. These events may be sudden and unexpected, and could adversely affect the liquidity of the Fund’s investments, which may in turn impact valuation, the Fund’s ability to sell securities and/or its ability to meet redemptions. The risks associated with these developments may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as war, natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts, social unrest, recessions, inflation, rapid interest rate changes and supply chain disruptions) adversely interrupt the global economy and financial markets. It is difficult to predict when events affecting the U.S. or global financial markets may occur, the effects that such events may have and the duration of those effects (which may last for extended periods). These events may negatively impact broad segments of businesses and populations and have a significant and rapid negative impact on the performance of the Fund’s investments, adversely affect and increase the volatility of the Fund’s share price and exacerbate pre-existing risks to the Fund.
 
Portfolio Turnover. Consistent with its investment policies, the Fund will purchase and sell securities without regard to the effect on portfolio turnover. Higher portfolio turnover will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs.
 
Active Management Risk. In pursuing the Fund’s investment objective, the Adviser has considerable leeway in deciding which investments to buy, hold or sell on a day-to-day basis, and which trading strategies to use. For example, the Adviser, in its
 
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
discretion, may determine to use some permitted trading strategies while not using others. The success or failure of such decisions will affect the Fund’s performance.
 
Shares of the Fund are not bank deposits and are not guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
Performance Information
The bar chart and table below provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s Class I shares’ performance from year-to-year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual returns for the past one, five and 10 year periods and since inception compare with those of broad measures of market performance, as well as an index that represents a group of similar mutual funds, over time. The performance of the other classes, which is shown in the table below, will differ because the classes have different ongoing fees. The Fund’s returns in the table include the maximum applicable sales charge for Class A and Class C and assume you sold your shares at the end of each period (unless otherwise noted). The Fund’s past performance, before and after taxes, is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information is available online at www.morganstanley.com/im or by calling toll-free 1-800-869-6397.
Annual Total Returns—Calendar Years
image 
High Quarter
06/30/20
13.92%
Low Quarter
03/31/20
-17.50%
Average Annual Total Returns
(for the calendar periods ended  December 31, 2022)
 
Past
One Year
Past
Five Years
Past
Ten Years
Since Inception
Class I (commenced operations on 12/31/92)
Return Before Taxes
-16.71%
2.23%
4.42%
6.57%
Return After Taxes on Distributions1
-16.83%
0.77%
3.01%
4.85%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares
-9.80%
1.39%
3.13%
4.74%
Class A (commenced operations on 11/1/96)
Return Before Taxes
-21.36%
0.83%
3.53%
5.30%
Class L (commenced operations on 4/27/12)
Return Before Taxes
-17.40%
1.40%
3.56%
3.95%
Class C (commenced operations on 4/30/15)
Return Before Taxes
-18.45%
1.11%
N/A
1.98%
Class R6 (commenced operations on 5/29/15)
Return Before Taxes
-16.70%
2.26%
N/A
3.34%
MSCI All Country World Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)2
-18.36%
5.23%
7.98%
7.45%3
Customized MSIM Global Allocation Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)4
-17.33%
2.71%
4.45%
N/A
Lipper Flexible Portfolio Funds Index (reflects no deduction for taxes)5
-15.19%
4.55%
6.15%
6.58%3
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
1 These returns do not reflect any tax consequences from a sale of your shares at the end of each period.
2 The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets. The term “free float” represents the portion of shares outstanding that are deemed to be available for purchase in the public equity markets by investors. The performance of the index is listed in U.S. dollars and assumes reinvestment of net dividends. Net total return indices reinvest dividends after the deduction of withholding taxes, using (for international indices) a tax rate applicable to non-resident institutional investors who do not benefit from double taxation treaties. Returns, including periods prior to January 1, 2001, are calculated using the return data of the MSCI All Country World Index (gross dividends) through December 31, 2000 and the return data of the MSCI All Country World Index (net dividends) after December 31, 2000. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
3 Since Inception reflects the inception date of Class I.
4 The Customized MSIM Global Allocation Index is a performance linked benchmark comprised of 60% MSCI All Country World Index and 40% Bloomberg  Global Aggregate Index for periods after May 31, 2017. Prior to May 31, 2017, the Customized MSIM Global Allocation Index consisted of 60% MSCI All Country World Index (benchmark that measures the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets), 30% Bloomberg  Global Aggregate Index (benchmark that provides a broad based measure of the global investment grade fixed-rate debt markets), 5% S&P GSCI Light Energy Index (benchmark for investment performance in the energy commodity market) and 5% ICE BofA U.S. Dollar 1-Month LIBID Average Index (benchmark that tracks the performance of a basket of synthetic assets paying LIBID to a stated maturity). The Customized MSIM Global Allocation Index was added as the Fund benchmark on October 2, 2013 and is provided for comparative purposes only. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
5 The Lipper Flexible Portfolio Funds Index is an equally weighted performance index of the largest qualifying funds (based on net assets) in the Lipper Flexible Portfolio Funds classification. There are currently 30 funds represented in this index.
The after-tax returns shown in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates during the period shown and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. After-tax returns for the Fund’s other classes will vary from Class I shares’ returns. Actual after-tax returns depend on the investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold their Fund shares through tax deferred arrangements such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts. After-tax returns may be higher than before-tax returns due to foreign tax credits and/or an assumed benefit from capital losses that would have been realized had Fund shares been sold at the end of the relevant periods, as applicable.
Fund Management
Adviser. Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc.
Sub-Adviser. Morgan Stanley Investment Management  Limited.
Portfolio Managers.  The Fund is managed by members of the Global Multi-Asset team. Information about the members jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund is shown below:
Name
Title with Adviser
Date Began
Managing Fund
Cyril Moullé-Berteaux
Managing Director
August 2011
Mark A. Bavoso
Managing Director
January 2011
Sergei Parmenov
Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Australia) Pty Limited (“MSIM Australia”)
January 2020
In rendering investment advisory services to the Fund, the Adviser uses the portfolio management, research and other resources of MSIM Australia, a foreign (non-U.S.) affiliate of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. that is not registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and may provide services to the Fund through this “participating affiliate” arrangement, as that term is used in relief granted by the staff of the SEC allowing U.S. registered investment advisers to use portfolio management or research resources of advisory affiliates subject to the regulatory supervision of the registered investment adviser.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Trust has suspended offering Class L shares of the Fund for sale to all investors. The Class L shareholders of the Fund do not have the option of purchasing additional Class L shares. However, the existing Class L shareholders may invest in additional Class L shares through reinvestment of dividends and distributions.
The minimum initial investment generally is $1 million for Class I shares and $1,000 for each of Class A and Class C shares of the Fund. To purchase Class R6 shares, an investor must meet a minimum initial investment of $5 million or be a defined contribution, defined benefit or other employer sponsored employee benefit plan, in each case provided that the plan trades through an intermediary that combines its clients’ assets in a single omnibus account, whether or not such plan is qualified under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and in each case subject to the discretion of the Adviser. The minimum initial investment may be waived for certain investments. For more information, please refer to the section of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Minimum Investment Amounts.”
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Summary 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
Shares of the Fund may be purchased or sold on any day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for business directly from the Fund by mail (c/o SS&C Global Investor and Distribution Solutions, Inc. (“SS&C GIDS”), P.O. Box 219804, Kansas City, MO 64121-9804), by telephone (1-800-869-6397) or by contacting an authorized third-party, such as a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary that has entered into a selling agreement with the Fund’s “Distributor,” Morgan Stanley Distribution, Inc. (each, a “Financial Intermediary”). In addition, you can sell Fund shares at any time by enrolling in a systematic withdrawal plan. If you sell Class A or Class C shares, your net sale proceeds are reduced by the amount of any applicable CDSC. For more information, please refer to the sections of the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder  Information—How To Purchase Fund Shares” and “—How To Redeem Fund Shares.”
Tax Information
The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary (such as a bank), the Adviser and/or the Distributor may pay the Financial Intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments, which may be significant in amount, may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Financial Intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your Financial Intermediary’s web site for more information.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Details of the Fund 
Global Strategist Portfolio 
Investment Objective
The Global Strategist Portfolio seeks above-average total return over a market cycle of three to five years.
Approach
The Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser seek to achieve the Fund’s investment objective by investing primarily in a blend of equity and fixed-income securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers. Equity securities may include common and preferred stocks, depositary receipts, convertible securities, equity-linked securities, REITs, rights and warrants to purchase equity securities and limited partnership interests. Fixed-income securities may include mortgage-related or mortgage-backed securities, floating rate securities, inflation-linked fixed-income securities, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. governments, their agencies or instrumentalities, corporate bonds and notes issued by U.S. and non-U.S. entities.
The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in below investment grade fixed-income securities (commonly referred to as “junk bonds”). The mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest include mortgage pass-through securities that represent a participation interest in a pool of mortgage loans originated by U.S. governmental or private lenders such as banks. The Fund may also invest up to 10% of its total assets in other investment companies, including ETFs. The securities in which the Fund may invest may be denominated in U.S. dollars or in currencies other than U.S. dollars.
The Fund may purchase certain non-publicly traded “restricted” securities. These securities may include “Rule 144A” securities, which are exempt from registration and may only be resold to qualified institutional buyers. The Fund may invest in illiquid securities, including restricted securities that are illiquid. The Fund may invest an unlimited amount in restricted securities that are considered by the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser to be liquid and otherwise meet the Fund’s investment policies.
The Fund may, but it is not required to, use derivatives and other similar instruments for a variety of purposes, including hedging, risk management, Fund management or to earn income. Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is based on the value of an underlying asset, interest rate, index or financial instrument. The Fund’s use of derivatives may involve the purchase and sale of derivative instruments such as futures, options, swaps and structured investments (including commodity-linked notes), and other similar instruments and techniques. The Fund may also utilize foreign currency forward exchange contracts, which are also derivatives, in connection with its investments in foreign securities. Derivative instruments used by the Fund will be counted toward the Fund’s exposure to the types of securities listed above to the extent they have economic characteristics similar to such securities.
The Fund may, consistent with its principal investment strategies, invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary may invest, directly or indirectly through the use of derivatives, in securities, commodities, commodity-related instruments and other investments, primarily futures, swaps and notes. The Subsidiary is advised by the Adviser.
Investments in the Subsidiary are intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodities markets within the limitations of the federal tax requirements that apply to the Fund. The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include, but are not limited to, total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions, and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).
Process
The Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser will utilize a top-down investment approach that focuses on asset class, sector, region, country and currency and thematic allocations. The Fund’s allocations will be based upon the Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s evaluations and analyses, taking into account results of its fundamental market research and recommendations generated by the Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s quantitative models. The Adviser’s and/or Sub-Adviser’s research process focuses on the following factors across asset classes: 1) valuation (both relative and absolute), 2) dynamics, including earnings revisions, interest rate policy and inflation expectations and 3) technicals, such as investor flows and sentiment. The Fund may invest in any country, including developing or emerging market countries. The Fund’s investments may be U.S. and non-U.S. dollar denominated. In determining whether to sell a security, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser consider a number of factors, including changes in capital appreciation potential, or the overall assessment of asset class, sector, region, country, and currency and thematic allocation shifts.
In determining whether to sell a security, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser consider a number of factors, including changes in capital appreciation potential, or the overall assessment of asset class, sector, region, country, and currency and thematic allocation shifts. Thematic allocation shifts refers to allocating the Fund’s assets between different thematic baskets of securities. A thematic basket of securities encompasses a specific investment idea that the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser believe will play out within the current global macro environment. Screening processes based on factors adhering to the investment themes are utilized to select securities for inclusion in each thematic basket.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Details of the Fund 
Global Strategist Portfolio (Con’t) 
Derivative instruments used by the Fund will be counted toward the Fund’s exposure to the types of securities listed above to the extent they have economic characteristics similar to such securities.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
This section discusses additional information relating to the Fund’s investment strategies, other types of investments that the Fund may make and related risk factors. The Fund’s investment practices and limitations are also described in more detail in the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), which is incorporated by reference and legally is a part of this Prospectus. For details on how to obtain a copy of the SAI and other reports and information, see the back cover of this Prospectus.
Economies and financial markets worldwide have recently experienced periods of increased volatility, uncertainty, distress, government spending, inflation and disruption to consumer demand, economic output and supply chains. To the extent these conditions continue, the risks associated with an investment in the Fund, including those described below, could be heightened and the Fund’s investments (and thus a shareholder’s investment in the Fund) may be particularly susceptible to sudden and substantial losses, reduced yield or income or other adverse developments. The occurrence, duration and extent of these or other types of adverse economic and market conditions and uncertainty over the long term cannot be reasonably projected or estimated at this time.
References to the Adviser, when used in connection with its activities as investment adviser, include the Sub-Adviser acting under its supervision.
Equity Securities
Equity securities may include common and preferred stocks, convertible securities and equity-linked securities, rights and warrants to purchase common stocks, depositary receipts, shares of investment companies, limited partnership interests and other specialty securities having equity features. Many factors affect the value of equity securities, including earnings, earnings forecasts, corporate events and factors impacting the issuer’s industry and the market generally. The Fund  may invest in equity securities that are publicly traded on securities exchanges or  over-the-counter (“OTC”) or in equity securities that are not publicly traded. Securities that are not publicly traded may be more difficult to value or sell and their value may fluctuate more dramatically than other securities. The prices of convertible securities are affected by changes similar to those of equity and fixed-income securities.
A depositary receipt is generally issued by a bank or financial institution and represents the common stock or other equity securities of a foreign company. Depositary receipts involve many of the same risks as those associated with direct investment in foreign securities. In addition, the underlying issuers of certain depositary receipts, particularly unsponsored or unregistered depositary receipts, are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.
A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock, right, warrant or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other security of the same or a different issuer or into cash within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt securities or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure but are usually subordinated to other comparable nonconvertible fixed-income securities in such capital structure. Convertible securities generally do not participate directly in any dividend increases or decreases of the underlying securities although the market prices of convertible securities may be affected by any dividend changes or other changes in the underlying securities.
Market and Geopolitical Risk
The value of your investment in the Fund is based on the values of the Fund’s investments, which may change due to economic and other events that affect markets generally, as well as those that affect particular regions, countries, industries, companies or governments. Price movements, sometimes called volatility, may be greater or less depending on the types of securities the Fund owns and the markets in which the securities trade. Volatility and disruption in financial markets and economies may be sudden and unexpected, expose the Fund to greater risk, including risks associated with reduced market liquidity and fair valuation, and adversely affect the Fund’s operations. For example, the Adviser potentially will be prevented from executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price as a result of any domestic or global market disruptions and reduced market liquidity may impact the Fund’s ability to sell securities to meet redemptions.
The increasing interconnectivity between global economies and financial markets increases the likelihood that events or conditions in one region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Securities in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform due to inflation (or expectations for inflation), interest rates, global demand for particular products or resources, natural disasters, health emergencies (such as epidemics and pandemics), terrorism, regulatory events and governmental or quasi-governmental actions. The occurrence of global events similar to those in recent years, such as terrorist attacks around the
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks (Con’t) 
world, natural disasters, health emergencies, social and political discord or debt crises and downgrades, among others, may result in market volatility and may have long term effects on both the U.S. and global financial markets. Inflation rates may change frequently and significantly because of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy and changes in monetary or economic policies (or expectations that these policies may change). Changes in expected inflation rates may adversely affect market and economic conditions, the Fund’s investments and an investment in the Fund. Other financial, economic and other global market and social developments or disruptions may result in similar adverse circumstances, and it is difficult to predict when similar events affecting the U.S. or global financial markets may occur, the effects that such events may have and the duration of those effects (which may last for extended periods). In general, the securities or other instruments that the Adviser believes represent an attractive investment opportunity or in which the Fund seeks to invest may be unavailable entirely or in the specific quantities sought by the Fund. As a result, the Fund may need to obtain the desired exposure through a less advantageous investment, forgo the investment at the time or seek to replicate the desired exposure through a derivative transaction or investment in another investment vehicle. Any such event(s) could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. There is a risk that you may lose money by investing in the Fund.  
Social, political, economic and other conditions and events, such as war, natural disasters, health emergencies (e.g., the novel coronavirus outbreak, epidemics and other pandemics), terrorism, conflicts, social unrest, recessions, inflation, rapid interest rate changes and supply chain disruptions could reduce consumer demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and generally have a significant impact on the economies and financial markets and the Adviser’s investment advisory activities and services of other service providers, which in turn could adversely affect the Fund’s investments and other operations.
Global events may negatively impact broad segments of businesses and populations, cause a significant negative impact on the performance of the Fund’s investments  and  exacerbate pre-existing political, social and economic risks to the Fund. The Fund’s operations may be interrupted as a result, which may contribute to the negative impact on investment performance. In addition, governments, their regulatory agencies, or self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that could have a significant negative impact on the Fund’s investment performance.
Fixed-Income Securities
Fixed-income securities are securities that pay a fixed or a variable rate of interest until a stated maturity date. Fixed-income securities include U.S. government securities, securities issued by federal or federally sponsored agencies and instrumentalities, corporate bonds and notes, asset-backed securities, mortgage securities, securities rated below investment grade (commonly referred to as “junk bonds” or “high yield/high risk securities”), municipal bonds, loan participations and assignments, zero coupon bonds, convertible securities, Eurobonds, Brady Bonds, Yankee Bonds, repurchase agreements, commercial paper and cash equivalents.
Fixed-income securities are subject to the risk of the issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on its obligations (i.e., credit risk) and are subject to price volatility resulting from, among other things, interest rate sensitivity (i.e., interest rate risk), market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (i.e., market risk). The Fund  may face a heightened level of interest rate risk in times of monetary policy change and/or uncertainty, such as when the Federal Reserve Board adjusts a quantitative easing program and/or changes rates. A changing interest rate environment increases certain risks, including the potential for periods of volatility, increased redemptions, shortened durations (i.e., prepayment risk) and extended durations (i.e., extension risk). Securities with longer durations are likely to be more sensitive to changes in interest rates, generally making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Lower rated fixed-income securities have greater volatility because there is less certainty that principal and interest payments will be made as scheduled. The Fund may be subject to liquidity risk, which may result from the lack of an active market and the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed-income securities. Fixed-income securities may be called (i.e., redeemed by the issuer) prior to final maturity. If a callable security is called, the  Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at a lower rate of interest.  
Duration
The average duration of a portfolio of fixed-income securities represents its exposure to changing interest rates. For example, when the level of interest rates increases by 1%, a fixed-income security having a positive duration of four years generally will decrease in value by 4%; when the level of interest rates decreases by 1%, the value of that same security generally will increase by 4%. A portfolio with a lower average duration generally will experience less price volatility in response to changes in interest rates than a portfolio with a higher average duration.
High Yield Securities
Fixed-income securities that are not investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” or high yield, high risk securities. These securities offer a higher yield than other higher rated securities, but they carry a greater degree of risk. High yield securities are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities and may be considered speculative by the major credit rating agencies. High yield securities may be issued by companies that are restructuring, are smaller and less creditworthy or are more highly indebted than other companies. This means that they may have more difficulty making scheduled payments of principal
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks (Con’t) 
and interest. Changes in the value of high yield securities are influenced more by changes in the financial and business position of the issuing company than by changes in interest rates when compared to investment grade securities.
In recent years, there has been a broad trend of weaker or less restrictive covenant protections in the high yield market. Among other things, under such weaker or less restrictive covenants, borrowers might be able to exercise more flexibility with respect to certain activities than borrowers who are subject to stronger or more protective covenants. For example, borrowers might be able to incur more debt, including secured debt, return more capital to shareholders, remove or reduce assets that are designated as collateral securing high yield securities, increase the claims against assets that are permitted against collateral securing high yield securities or otherwise manage their business in ways that could impact creditors negatively. In addition, certain privately held borrowers might be permitted to file less frequent, less detailed or less timely financial reporting or other information, which could negatively impact the value of the high yield securities issued by such borrowers. Each of these factors might negatively impact the high yield securities held by the Fund.
Mortgage-Backed Securities
Mortgage securities are fixed-income securities representing an interest in a pool of underlying mortgage loans. They are sensitive to changes in interest rates, but may respond to these changes differently from other fixed-income securities due to the possibility of prepayment of the underlying mortgage loans. As a result, it may not be possible to determine in advance the actual maturity date or average life of a mortgage security. Rising interest rates tend to discourage refinancings, with the result that the average life and volatility of the security will increase and its market price will decrease. When interest rates fall, however, mortgage securities may not gain as much in market value because additional mortgage prepayments must be reinvested at lower interest rates. Prepayment risk may make it difficult to calculate the average maturity of a portfolio of mortgage securities and, therefore, to assess the volatility risk of that portfolio.
The Fund  may invest in mortgage securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities. These securities are either direct obligations of the U.S. Government or the issuing agency or instrumentality has the right to borrow from the U.S. Treasury to meet its obligations although it is not legally required to extend credit to the agency or instrumentality. Certain of these mortgage securities purchased by  the Fund, such as those issued by the  Government National Mortgage Association and the Federal Housing Administration, are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Other of these mortgage securities purchased by  the Fund, such as those issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States and there is a risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to these agencies if it is not obligated to do so by law. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some of the mortgage securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their 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.
To the extent  the Fund invests in mortgage 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. Pools created by such non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in such pools. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of intent. The insurance and guarantees are issued by governmental entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or guarantors can meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements. Mortgage pools underlying mortgage securities offered by non-governmental issuers more frequently include second mortgages, high loan-to-value ratio mortgages and manufactured housing loans, in addition to commercial mortgages and other types of mortgages where a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee is not available. 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 the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include 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. For these reasons, the loans underlying these securities have had in many cases higher default rates than those loans that meet government underwriting requirements. The risk of non-payment is greater for mortgage-related securities that are backed by loans that were originated under weak underwriting standards, including loans made to borrowers with limited means to make repayment. A level of risk exists for all loans, although, historically, the poorest performing loans have been those classified as subprime. Other types of privately issued mortgage-related securities, such as those classified as pay-option adjustable rate or Alt-A, have also performed poorly.
Non-agency mortgage-backed securities are not traded on an exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, mortgage-related securities held in the  Fund’s portfolio may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying mortgage loans. Non-agency mortgage-backed securities include securities that reflect an interest in, and are secured by, mortgage loans on commercial real property. Many of the risks of investing in CMBS reflect the risks of investing in
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks (Con’t) 
the real estate securing the underlying mortgage loans. These risks reflect the effects of local and other economic conditions on real estate markets, the ability of tenants to make loan payments, and the ability of a property to attract and retain tenants.
The risks associated with mortgage-backed securities are elevated in distressed economic, market, health and labor conditions, notably, increased levels of unemployment, delays and delinquencies in payments of mortgage and rent obligations, and uncertainty regarding the effects and extent of government intervention with respect to mortgage payments and other economic matters.
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 the 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 Fund may invest in as described above). Adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which the 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 the 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 the Fund may experience declines after they are purchased by the Fund.
There can be no assurance that a security purchased on a when-issued basis will be issued or that a security purchased or sold on a delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment will be delivered. Also, the value of securities in these transactions on the delivery date may be more or less than the price paid by the Fund to purchase the securities. The Fund will lose money if the value of the security in such a transaction declines below the purchase price and will not benefit if the value of the security appreciates above the sale price during the commitment period.
REITs
Investing in REITs exposes investors to the risks of owning real estate directly, as well as to risks that relate specifically to the way in which REITs are organized and operated. REITs generally invest directly in real estate, in mortgages or in some combination of the two. Operating REITs require specialized management skills and the Fund indirectly bears management expenses along with the direct expenses of the Fund. Individual REITs may own a limited number of properties and may concentrate in a particular region or property type. REITs may also be subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers and self-liquidation. REITs also must satisfy specific requirements of the Code in order to qualify for tax-free pass-through income. The failure of a company to qualify as a REIT could have adverse consequences for the Fund, including significantly reducing the return to the Fund on its investment in such company. In addition, REITs, like mutual funds, have expenses, including management and administration fees, that are paid by their shareholders. As a result,  shareholders will directly bear the expenses of their investment in the Fund and indirectly bear the expenses of the Fund’s investments in REITs.
Foreign Securities
Foreign issuers generally are subject to different accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards than U.S. issuers. There may be less information available to the public about foreign issuers. Securities of foreign issuers can be less liquid and experience greater price movements. In addition, the prices of such securities may be susceptible to influence by large traders, due to the limited size of many foreign securities markets. Moreover, investments in certain foreign markets that have historically been considered stable may become more volatile and subject to increased risk due to ongoing developments and changing conditions in such markets. Also, the growing interconnectivity of global economies and financial markets has increased the probability that adverse developments and conditions in one country or region will affect the stability of economies and financial markets in other countries or regions. In some foreign countries, there is also the risk of government expropriation, excessive taxation, political or social instability, the imposition of currency controls or diplomatic developments that could affect  the Fund’s investment. There also can be difficulty obtaining and enforcing judgments against issuers in foreign countries. Foreign stock exchanges, broker-dealers and listed issuers may be subject to less government regulation and oversight. The cost of investing in foreign securities, including brokerage commissions and custodial expenses, can be higher than the cost of investing in domestic securities.
Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trading patterns, trade barriers and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. International trade barriers or economic sanctions against foreign countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals may adversely affect the Fund’s foreign holdings or exposures. Investments in foreign markets may also be adversely affected by less stringent
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investor protections and disclosure standards, and governmental actions such as the imposition of capital controls, nationalization of companies or industries, expropriation of assets or the imposition of punitive taxes. Governmental actions can have a significant effect on the economic conditions in foreign countries, which also may adversely affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments. Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain foreign countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. For example, the governments of certain countries may prohibit or impose substantial restrictions on foreign investing in their capital markets or in certain sectors or industries. In addition, a foreign government may limit or cause delay in the convertibility or repatriation of its currency which would adversely affect the U.S. dollar value and/or liquidity of investments denominated in that currency. Moreover, if a deterioration occurs in a country’s balance of payments, the country could impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. The Fund could also be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation, as well as by the application to it of other restrictions on investment. Any of these actions could severely affect security prices, which could result in losses to the Fund and increased transaction costs, impair the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell foreign securities or transfer the Fund’s assets back into the United States, or otherwise adversely affect the Fund’s operations. Certain foreign investments may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions, or become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Certain foreign investments may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers and sellers or when dealers are unwilling to make a market for certain securities. When  the Fund holds illiquid investments, its portfolio may be harder to value.
Economic sanctions or other similar measures may be, and have been, imposed against certain countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals. The  Fund’s investments in foreign securities are subject to economic sanctions and trade laws in the United States and other jurisdictions. These laws and related governmental actions, including counter-sanctions and other retaliatory measures, can, from time to time, prevent or prohibit the  Fund from investing in certain foreign securities. In addition, economic sanctions could prohibit the  Fund from transacting with particular countries, organizations, companies, entities and/or individuals by banning them from global payment systems that facilitate cross-border payments, restricting their ability to settle securities transactions, and freezing their assets. The imposition of sanctions and other similar measures could, among other things, cause a decline in the value of securities issued by the sanctioned country or companies located in, or economically linked to, the sanctioned country, downgrades in the credit ratings of the sanctioned country or companies located in, or economically linked to, the sanctioned country, devaluation of the sanctioned country’s currency, and increased market volatility and disruption in the sanctioned country and throughout the world. Economic sanctions or other similar measures could, among other things, effectively restrict or eliminate the  Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities, negatively impact the value or liquidity of the  Fund’s investments, significantly delay or prevent the settlement of the  Fund’s securities transactions, force the  Fund to sell or otherwise dispose of investments at inopportune times or prices, increase the Fund’s transaction costs, make the Fund’s investments more difficult to value or impair the  Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective or invest in accordance with its investment strategies. These conditions may be in place for a substantial period of time and enacted with limited advance notice to the Fund.
The  Fund  may invest in debt obligations known as “sovereign debt,” which are obligations of governmental issuers in emerging market or developing countries and industrialized countries. Certain emerging market or developing countries are among the largest debtors to commercial banks and foreign governments. The issuer or governmental authority that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or pay interest when due in accordance with the terms of such obligations. Uncertainty surrounding the level and sustainability of sovereign debt of certain countries has at times increased volatility in the financial markets. In addition, a number of Latin American countries are among the largest debtors of developing countries and have a long history of reliance on foreign debt. Additional factors that may influence the ability or willingness to service debt include, but are not limited to, a country’s cash flow situation, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of its debt service burden to the economy as a whole and its government’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other multilateral agencies. A country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities or whose economy depends on certain strategic imports could be vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices of these commodities or imports. If a foreign sovereign obligor cannot generate sufficient earnings from foreign trade to service its external debt, it may need to depend on continuing loans and aid from foreign governments, commercial banks and multilateral organizations, and inflows of foreign investment. The commitment on the part of these foreign governments, multilateral organizations and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on the government’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of its 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, which may further impair the foreign sovereign obligor’s ability or willingness to timely service its debts. In addition, there is no legal process for collecting on a sovereign debt that a government does not pay or bankruptcy proceeding by which all or part of the sovereign debt that a government entity has not repaid may be collected.
In connection with  its investments in foreign securities,  the Fund also may enter into contracts with banks, brokers or dealers to purchase or sell securities or foreign currencies at a future date. A foreign currency forward exchange contract is a negotiated agreement between the contracting parties to exchange a specified amount of currency at a specified future time at a specified rate. The rate can be higher or lower than the spot rate between the currencies that are the subject of the contract. Foreign currency forward exchange contracts may be used to protect against uncertainty in the level of future foreign currency exchange rates or to gain
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or modify exposure to a particular currency. In addition,  the Fund may use cross currency hedging or proxy hedging with respect to currencies in which the Fund has or expects to have portfolio or currency exposure. Cross currency and proxy hedges involve the sale of one currency against the positive exposure to a different currency and may be used for hedging purposes or to establish an active exposure to the exchange rate between any two currencies.
China Risk
Investments in securities of Chinese issuers involve risks associated with investments in foreign markets as well as special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. For example, the Chinese government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, the Chinese government has taken actions that influenced the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encouraged companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induced mergers between companies in certain industries and induced private companies to publicly offer their securities. Investments in China involve risk of a total loss due to government action or inaction. Additionally, the Chinese economy is export-driven and highly reliant on trade. Adverse changes to the economic conditions of its primary trading partners, such as the United States, Japan and South Korea, would adversely impact the Chinese economy and the Fund’s investments. Moreover, a slowdown in other significant economies of the world, such as the United States, the European Union and certain Asian countries, may adversely affect economic growth in China. An economic downturn in China would adversely impact the Fund’s investments. In addition, certain securities are, or may in the future become restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such restricted securities and incur a loss as a result.
The Fund may invest in fixed-income instruments listed and traded through the Bond Connect. Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. Moreover, fixed-income instruments purchased through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules. The Bond Connect program is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation and guidance. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the Fund’s investments or returns.
Foreign Currency
Investments in foreign securities may be denominated in foreign currencies. The value of foreign currencies may fluctuate relative to the value of the U.S. dollar or other applicable foreign currency. Since the Fund may invest in such non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities, and therefore may convert the value of such securities into U.S. dollars, changes in currency exchange rates can increase or decrease the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s  assets. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including changes in interest rates and the overall economic health of the issuer. Devaluation of a currency by a country’s government or banking authority also will have a significant impact on the value of any investments denominated in that currency. The Adviser may use derivatives to reduce this risk. The Adviser may in its discretion choose not to hedge against currency risk. In addition, certain market conditions may make it impossible or uneconomical to hedge against currency risk.
Emerging Market Securities
The  Fund  may invest in emerging market or developing countries, which are countries that major international financial institutions generally consider to be less economically mature than developed nations (such as the United States or most nations in Western Europe). Emerging market or developing countries may be more likely to experience political turmoil or rapid changes in economic conditions than more developed countries, and the financial condition of issuers in emerging market or developing countries may be more precarious than in other countries. Certain emerging market countries may be subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping and therefore, material information related to an investment may not be available or reliable. In addition, the Fund is limited in its ability to exercise its legal rights or enforce a counterparty’s legal obligations in certain jurisdictions outside of the United States, in particular, in emerging markets countries. In addition, due to jurisdictional limitations, U.S. authorities (e.g., SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) may be limited in their ability to enforce regulatory or legal obligations in emerging market countries. In addition, emerging market securities generally are less liquid and subject to wider price and currency fluctuations than securities issued in more developed countries. These characteristics result in greater risk of price volatility in emerging market or developing countries, which may be heightened by currency fluctuations relative to the U.S. dollar.
Derivatives
The  Fund  may, but is  not required to, use derivatives and other similar instruments for a variety of purposes, including hedging, risk management, portfolio management or to earn income. Derivative instruments used by the Fund will be counted towards the Fund’s exposure in the types of securities listed herein to the extent they have economic characteristics similar to such securities. A derivative is a financial instrument whose value is based, in part, on the value of an underlying asset, interest rate, index or financial instrument. Prevailing interest rates and volatility levels, among other things, also affect the value of derivative instruments. Derivatives and other similar instruments often have risks similar to those of the underlying asset or instrument and may have additional risks, including imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying asset, risks of default by the counterparty to certain transactions, magnification of losses incurred due to changes in the market value of the securities, instruments, indices or interest
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rates to which the derivative instrument relates, risks that the transactions may not be liquid, risks arising from margin and payment requirements, risks arising from mispricing or valuation complexity and operational and legal risks. The use of derivatives involves risks that are different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with other portfolio investments. Derivatives may involve the use of highly specialized instruments that require investment techniques and risk analyses different from those associated with other portfolio investments.
Certain derivative transactions may give rise to a form of leverage. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Leverage associated with derivative transactions may cause  the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it may not be advantageous to do so, or may cause the Fund to be more volatile than if the Fund had not been leveraged. Although the Adviser seeks to use derivatives to further the Fund’s investment objective, there is no assurance that the use of derivatives will achieve this result.
The derivative instruments and techniques that the  Fund may use include:
Futures. A futures contract is a standardized, exchange-traded agreement to buy or sell a specific quantity of an underlying asset, reference rate or index at a specific price at a specific future time. While the value of a futures contract tends to increase or decrease in tandem with the value of the underlying instrument, differences between the futures market and the market for the underlying asset may result in an imperfect correlation.  Depending on the terms of the particular contract, futures contracts are settled through either physical delivery of the underlying instrument on the settlement date or by payment of a cash settlement amount on the settlement date. A decision as to whether, when and how to use futures contracts involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived futures transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. In addition to the derivatives risks discussed above, the prices of futures contracts can be highly volatile, using futures contracts can lower total return, and the potential loss from futures contracts can exceed the Fund’s initial investment in such contracts. No assurance can be given that a liquid market will exist for any particular futures contract at any particular time. There is also the risk of loss by  the Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with which  the Fund has open positions in the futures contract.
Options. If  the Fund buys an option, it buys a legal contract giving it the right to buy or sell a specific amount of the underlying instrument,   foreign currency or contract, such as a swap agreement or futures contract, on the underlying instrument or foreign currency at an agreed-upon price typically in exchange for a premium paid by the Fund. If the Fund sells an option, it sells to another person the right to buy from or sell to the Fund a specific amount of the underlying instrument, swap, foreign currency, or futures contract on the underlying instrument or foreign currency at an agreed-upon price during a period of time or on a specified date typically in exchange for a premium received by the Fund. When options are purchased OTC,  the Fund bears the risk that the counterparty that wrote the option will be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the option contract. Options may also be illiquid and  the Fund may have difficulty closing out its position. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived option transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. The prices of options can be highly volatile and the use of options can lower total returns.
Investments in foreign currency options may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the Adviser expects. There is a risk that such transactions may reduce or preclude the opportunity for gain if the value of the currency should move in the direction opposite to the position taken. The value of a foreign currency option is dependent upon the value of the underlying foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar or other applicable foreign currency. The price of the option may vary with changes in the value of either or both currencies and has no relationship to the investment merits of a foreign security. Options on foreign currencies are affected by all of those factors that influence foreign exchange rates and foreign investment generally. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in losses to the Fund and poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into such contracts. Options on foreign currencies are traded primarily in the OTC market, but may also be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges.
Foreign currency options contracts may be used for hedging purposes or non-hedging purposes in pursuing the Fund’s investment objective, such as when the Adviser anticipates that particular non-U.S. currencies will appreciate or depreciate in value, even though securities denominated in those currencies are not then held in the Fund’s investment portfolio. Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates, as opposed to only hedging currency risks applicable to the Fund’s holdings, further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign securities losses. There is no assurance that the Adviser’s use of currency derivatives will benefit the Fund or that they will be, or can be, used at appropriate times.
Swaps.  The Fund may enter into OTC swap contracts or cleared swap transactions. An OTC swap contract is an agreement between two parties pursuant to which the parties exchange payments at specified dates on the basis of a specified notional amount, with the payments calculated by reference to specified securities, indices, reference rates, currencies or other instruments. Typically swap agreements provide that when the period payment dates for both parties are the same, the payments are made on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out, with only the net amount paid by one party to the other).  The Fund’s obligations or rights under a swap contract entered into on a net basis will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement, based on the relative values of the positions held by each party. Cleared swap transactions may help reduce counterparty credit risk. In a cleared swap,  the Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a clearinghouse rather than a swap dealer, bank or other financial
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institution. OTC swap agreements are not entered into or traded on exchanges and often there is no central clearing or guaranty function for swaps. These OTC swaps are often subject to credit risk or the risk of default or non-performance by the counterparty. Certain swaps have begun trading on exchanges called swap execution facilities. Exchange trading is expected to increase liquidity of swaps trading. Both OTC and cleared swaps could result in losses if interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates or other factors are not correctly anticipated by the Fund or if the reference index, security or investments do not perform as expected. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and related regulatory developments require the clearing and exchange trading of certain standardized swap transactions. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing is occurring on a phased-in basis. The Fund may pay fees or incur costs each time it enters into, amends or terminates a swap agreement.
The  Fund’s  use of swaps may include those based on the credit of an underlying security, commonly referred to as “credit default swaps.” Where  the Fund is the buyer of a credit default swap contract, it would typically be entitled to receive the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation from the counterparty to the contract only in the event of a default or similar event by a third-party on the debt obligation. If no default occurs, the Fund would have paid to the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract and received no benefit from the contract. When  the Fund is the seller of a credit default swap contract, it typically receives the stream of payments but is obligated to pay an amount equal to the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation upon the default or similar event of the issuer of the referenced debt obligation.
Structured Investments.  The  Fund  also may invest a portion of  its assets in structured investments. A structured investment is a derivative security designed to offer a return linked to a particular underlying security, currency, commodity or market. Structured investments may come in various forms including notes (such as exchange-traded notes), warrants and options to purchase securities. The  Fund will typically use structured investments to gain exposure to a permitted underlying security, currency, commodity or market when direct access to a market is limited or inefficient from a tax or cost standpoint. There can be no assurance that structured investments will trade at the same price or have the same value as the underlying security, currency, commodity or market. Investments in structured investments involve risks including issuer risk, counterparty risk and market risk. Holders of structured investments bear risks of the underlying investment and are subject to issuer or counterparty risk because  the Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of such issuer or counterparty and has no rights with respect to the underlying investment. Certain structured investments may be thinly traded or have a limited trading market and may have the effect of increasing  the Fund’s illiquidity to the extent that the Fund, at a particular point in time, may be unable to find qualified buyers for these securities.
LIBOR Discontinuance or Unavailability Risk.
LIBOR is intended to represent the rate at which contributing banks may obtain short-term borrowings from each other in the London interbank market. The Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which is the regulatory authority that oversees financial services firms, financial markets in the U.K. and the administrator of LIBOR, announced that, after the end of 2021, one-week and two-month U.S. Dollar LIBOR and all non-U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings have either ended or are no longer representative of the underlying market they seek to measure. The FCA also announced that the most commonly used U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings may continue to be provided on a representative basis until mid-2023. However, in connection with supervisory guidance from regulators, some regulated entities may no longer enter into most new LIBOR-based contracts. As a result of the foregoing, LIBOR may no longer be available or no longer deemed an appropriate reference rate upon which to determine the interest rate on or impacting certain derivatives and other instruments or investments held by the Fund. In light of this eventuality, public and private sector industry initiatives are currently underway to establish new or alternative reference rates to be used in place of LIBOR. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any such alternative reference rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that it will have the same volume or liquidity as did LIBOR prior to its discontinuance or unavailability, which may affect the value or liquidity or return on certain of the Fund’s investments and result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades.
Neither the effect of the LIBOR transition process nor its ultimate success can yet be known. The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for, and reduce the effectiveness of new hedges placed against, instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR. While some existing LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology, there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies to replicate LIBOR. Not all existing LIBOR-based instruments may have alternative rate-setting provisions and there remains uncertainty regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to add alternative rate-setting provisions in certain existing instruments. Although state and federal statutes have been enacted to address difficult LIBOR transition issues, the application and effect of these statutes are uncertain. In addition, a liquid market for newly-issued instruments that use a reference rate other than LIBOR is still developing. There may also be challenges for the Fund to enter into hedging transactions against such newly-issued instruments until a market for such hedging transactions develops. All of the aforementioned may adversely affect the Fund’s investments (including their volatility, value and liquidity) and, as a result, the performance or NAV.
Commodities
The Fund (primarily through the Subsidiary) may invest in instruments linked to the prices of physical commodities. Trading in commodity interests may involve substantial risks and investment exposure to the commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities, such as stocks and bonds. The commodities markets may fluctuate widely
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based on a variety of factors, including changes in overall market movements, domestic and foreign political and economic events and policies, including the imposition of tariffs, war, acts of terrorism, changes in domestic or foreign interest rates and/or investor expectations concerning interest rates, domestic and foreign inflation rates and investment and trading activities of mutual funds, hedge funds and commodities funds.
The low margin or premiums normally required in commodity futures trading may provide a large amount of leverage, and a relatively small change in the price of a security or contract can produce a disproportionately large profit or loss. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for commodity futures contracts or options purchased or sold, and the Fund may be required to maintain a position until exercise or expiration, which could result in losses. Commodity futures positions may be illiquid because, for example, most U.S. commodity exchanges limit fluctuations in certain futures contract prices during a single day by regulations referred to as “daily price fluctuation limits” or “daily limits.” Once the price of a contract for a particular future has increased or decreased by an amount equal to the daily limit, positions in the future can neither be taken nor liquidated unless traders are willing to effect trades at or within the limit. Suspensions or disruptions of trading in the commodities markets may adversely affect the value of securities providing exposure to the commodities markets.
Subsidiary Risk
By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary’s investments. The derivatives and other investments held by the Subsidiary are subject to the same risks that apply to similar investments if held directly by the Fund. These risks are described elsewhere in this Prospectus. There can be no assurance that the investment objectives of the Subsidiary will be achieved. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and, unless otherwise noted in this Prospectus, is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to operate as described herein and could adversely affect the Fund.
Tax Risk
The Fund may seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary. Historically, the IRS has issued private letter rulings in which the IRS specifically concluded that income and gains from investments in commodity index-linked structured notes (the “Notes Rulings”) or a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked instruments are “qualifying income” for purposes of compliance with Subchapter M of the Code. The Fund has not received such a private letter ruling, and is not able to rely on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers. The IRS issued a revenue procedure, which states that the IRS will not in the future issue private letter rulings that would require a determination of whether an asset (such as a commodity index-linked note) is a “security” under the 1940 Act. In connection with issuing such revenue procedure, the IRS has revoked the Notes Rulings. The IRS also issued final regulations that would generally treat the Fund’s income inclusion with respect to the Subsidiary as qualifying income either if (A) there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the Subsidiary that are attributable to such income inclusion or (B) such inclusion is derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies. The Fund intends to treat its income from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. No assurances can be provided that the IRS would not be able to successfully assert that the Fund’s income from such investments was not “qualifying income,” in which case the Fund would fail to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code if over 10% of its gross income was derived from these investments. If the Fund failed to qualify as a regulated investment company, it would be subject to federal and state income tax on all of its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates with no deduction for any distributions paid to shareholders, which would significantly adversely affect the returns to, and could cause substantial losses for, Fund shareholders. The Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiary. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns.
U.S. Government Securities
Different types of U.S. government securities are subject to different levels of credit risk, including the risk of default, depending on the nature of the particular government support for that security. For example, a U.S. government-sponsored entity, such as Federal National Mortgage Association or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, although chartered or sponsored by an Act of Congress, may issue securities that are neither insured nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. With respect to U.S. government securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, there is the risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to such U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law.
The U.S. government securities that  the Fund may purchase include U.S. Treasury bills, notes and bonds, all of which are direct obligations of the U.S. Government. In addition,  the Fund may purchase securities issued or guaranteed by agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. Government which are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Among the agencies and instrumentalities issuing these obligations are  Government National Mortgage Association and the Federal Housing Administration.  The Fund may also purchase securities issued by agencies and instrumentalities which are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, but whose issuing agency or instrumentality has the right to borrow, to meet its obligations, from the U.S. Treasury. Among these agencies and instrumentalities are Fannie Mae,  Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.  Further, the Fund may purchase securities issued by agencies and instrumentalities which are backed solely by the credit of the
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks (Con’t) 
issuing agency or instrumentality. Among these agencies and instrumentalities is the Federal Farm Credit System. Because these securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, there is a risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to these agencies if it is not obligated to do so by law. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. government securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their 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. The interest from U.S. government securities generally is not subject to state and local taxation.
Investment Company Securities
Subject to the limitations set forth in the 1940 Act, or as otherwise permitted by the SEC, the Fund may acquire shares in other investment companies, including foreign investment companies and ETFs, which may be managed by the Adviser or its affiliates. The market value of the shares of other investment companies may differ from the NAV of the Fund. The shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to their NAV. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that entity’s expenses, including its investment advisory and administration fees. At the same time, the Fund would continue to pay its own advisory and administration fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders will directly bear the expenses of their investment in the Fund and indirectly bear the expenses of the Fund’s investments in  other investment companies.
When-Issued Securities, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments
The Fund may purchase or sell securities that it is entitled to receive on a when-issued basis. The Fund may also purchase or sell securities on a delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment (including on a TBA (to be announced) basis). These transactions involve the purchase or sale of securities by the Fund at an established price with payment and delivery taking place in the future. The Fund enters into these transactions to obtain what is considered an advantageous price to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. There can be no assurance that a security purchased on a when-issued basis will be issued or that a security purchased or sold on a delayed delivery basis or through a forward commitment will be delivered. Also, the value of securities in these transactions on the delivery date may be more or less than the price paid by the Fund to purchase the securities. The Fund will lose money if the value of the security in such a transaction declines below the purchase price and will not benefit if the value of the security appreciates above the sale price during the commitment period.
Liquidity
The  Fund  may make investments that are illiquid or restricted or that may become illiquid or less liquid in response to overall economic conditions or adverse investor perceptions, and which may entail greater risk than investments in other types of securities. Illiquidity can be caused by, among other things, a drop in overall market trading volume, an inability to find a willing buyer, or legal restrictions on the securities’ resale. These investments may be more difficult to value or sell, particularly in times of market turmoil, and there may be little trading in the secondary market available for particular securities.  If the  Fund is forced to sell an illiquid or restricted security to fund redemptions or for other cash needs, it may be forced to sell the security at a loss or for less than its fair value.
Large Shareholder Transactions Risk
The  Fund may experience adverse effects when certain shareholders purchase or redeem large amounts of shares of the Fund. Such larger than normal redemptions may cause the  Fund to sell portfolio securities at times when it would not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and liquidity. Similarly, large Fund share purchases may adversely affect the  Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. These transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders if such sales of investments resulted in gains, and may also increase transaction costs. In addition, a large redemption could result in the  Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratio.  Although large shareholder transactions may be more frequent under certain circumstances, the  Fund is generally subject to the risk that shareholders can purchase or redeem a significant percentage of Fund shares at any time.
Temporary Defensive Investments
When the Adviser believes that changes in market, economic, political or other conditions warrant,  the Fund may invest without limit in cash, cash equivalents or other fixed-income securities for temporary defensive purposes that may be inconsistent with  the Fund’s principal investment strategies. If the Adviser incorrectly predicts the effects of these changes, such defensive investments may adversely affect  the Fund’s performance and the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.
Investment Discretion
In pursuing the Fund’s investment objective, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser has considerable leeway in deciding which investments it buys, holds or sells on a day-to-day basis, and which trading strategies it uses. For example, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser, in its discretion, may determine to use some permitted trading strategies while not using others. The success or failure of such decisions will affect the Fund’s performance.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks 
Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks (Con’t) 
Portfolio Turnover
Consistent with its investment policies, the Fund will purchase and sell securities without regard to the effect on portfolio turnover. Higher portfolio turnover (e.g., over 100% per year) will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs and may result in taxable gains being passed through to shareholders. The Fund may engage in frequent trading of securities to achieve its investment objective.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Management 
Fund Management 
Adviser
Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc., with principal offices at 522 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10036, conducts a worldwide portfolio management business and provides a broad range of portfolio management services to customers in the United States and abroad. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: “MS”) is the parent of the Adviser, which is the parent of the Distributor. Morgan Stanley is a preeminent global financial services firm engaged in securities trading and brokerage activities, as well as providing investment banking, research and analysis, financing and financial advisory services. As of  December 31, 2022,  the Adviser, together with its affiliated asset management companies, had approximately $1.3  trillion in assets under management or supervision.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the investment advisory and sub-advisory agreements is available in the Fund’s Annual Report to Shareholders for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022.
Sub-Adviser
The Adviser has entered into a Sub-Advisory Agreement with Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited, located at 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QA, England. The Sub-Adviser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley. The Sub-Adviser provides the Fund with investment advisory services subject to the overall supervision of the Adviser and the Fund’s officers and Trustees. The Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser on a monthly basis a portion of the net advisory fees the Adviser receives from the Fund.
Advisory Fees
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the Adviser received a fee for advisory services (net of fee waivers, if applicable) equal to 0.43% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. For purposes of calculating the fees for the Fund, the net assets of the Fund include the value of the Fund’s interest in the Subsidiary. Pursuant to a management agreement between the Adviser and the Subsidiary (the “Subsidiary Investment Management Agreement”), the Adviser will receive certain fees for managing the Subsidiary’s assets and the Adviser will waive or credit such amounts against the fees payable to the Adviser by the Fund. This waiver may not be terminated by the Adviser and will remain in effect for as long as the Adviser’s contract with the Subsidiary is in place.
The Adviser has agreed to reduce its advisory fee and/or reimburse the Fund, if necessary, if such fees would cause the total annual operating expenses of the Fund to exceed 0.74% for Class I, 1.09% for Class A, 1.59% for Class L, 1.84% for Class C and 0.71% for Class R6. In determining the actual amount of fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement for the Fund, if any, the Adviser excludes from total annual operating expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses (as applicable), certain investment related expenses, taxes, interest and other extraordinary expenses (including litigation). The fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements for the Fund will continue for at least one year from the date of this Prospectus or until such time as the Trust’s Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such waivers and/or reimbursements when it deems such action is appropriate.  The Adviser may make additional voluntary fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements. The Adviser may discontinue these voluntary fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements at any time in the future.
The Adviser provides investment advisory services to the Subsidiary pursuant to the Subsidiary Investment Management Agreement. Under the Subsidiary Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser provides the Subsidiary with the same type of investment advisory services as are provided to the Fund.
The Fund and the Subsidiary have entered into contracts for the provision of custody and audit services with service providers.
The Subsidiary is managed pursuant to compliance policies and procedures that are the same, in all material respects, as the policies and procedures adopted by the Fund. As a result, the Adviser, in managing the Subsidiary’s portfolio, is subject to the same investment policies and restrictions that apply to the management of the Fund (although the Subsidiary may invest without limitation in commodity-related instruments) and, in particular, to the requirements relating to portfolio leverage, liquidity, brokerage and the timing and method of valuation of the Subsidiary’s portfolio investments and shares of the Subsidiary. Certain of these policies and restrictions are described in detail in the Fund’s SAI.
The consolidated financial statements of the Subsidiary are included in the Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report of the Fund provided to shareholders.
The Fund’s annual operating expenses may vary throughout the period and from year to year. The Fund’s actual expenses may be different than the expenses listed in the Fund’s fee and expense table based upon the extent and amount of a fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Fund Management 
Fund Management (Con’t) 
Portfolio Management
The Fund is managed by members of the Global Multi-Asset team. The team consists of portfolio managers and analysts.
Current members of the team jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund are Mark A. Bavoso, Cyril Moullé-Berteaux and Sergei Parmenov. Mr. Bavoso has been associated with the Adviser in an investment management capacity since 1986.  Mr. Moullé-Berteaux has been associated with the Adviser in an investment management capacity since August 2011. Mr. Parmenov has been associated with Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Australia) Pty Limited (“MSIM Australia”) in an investment management capacity since 2021. Prior to joining MSIM Australia, Mr. Parmenov was associated with the Adviser in an investment management capacity from 2011 through 2021. Team members collaborate to manage the assets of the Fund.
In rendering investment advisory services to the Fund, the Adviser uses the portfolio management, research and other resources of MSIM Australia, a foreign (non-U.S.) affiliate of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. that is not registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and may provide services to the Fund through this “participating affiliate” arrangement, as that term is used in relief granted by the staff of the SEC allowing U.S. registered investment advisers to use portfolio management or research resources of advisory affiliates subject to the regulatory supervision of the registered investment adviser.
Additional Information
The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation structure, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund.
The composition of the team may change from time to time.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information 
Share Class Arrangements
The Trust has suspended offering Class L shares of the Fund for sale to all investors. The Class L shareholders of the Fund do not have the option of purchasing additional Class L shares. However, the existing Class L shareholders of the Fund may invest in additional Class L shares through reinvestment of dividends and distributions.
The Trust currently offers investors Class I, Class A, Class C and Class R6 shares of the Fund. Class I and Class R6 shares are not subject to a sales charge and are not subject to a distribution and/or shareholder service (12b-1) fee. In addition, no sub-accounting or other similar fees, or any finder’s fee payments are charged or paid on Class R6 shares. The Class L shares of the Fund are currently closed to all investors except in the limited circumstances set forth in this Prospectus. Class C shares are sold at NAV with no initial sales charge, but are subject to a CDSC of 1.00% on sales made within one year after the last day of the month of purchase. Class I and Class R6 shares generally require investments in minimum amounts that are substantially higher than Class A and Class C shares.
Minimum Investment Amounts
The minimum initial investment generally is $1 million for Class I shares and $1,000 for Class A and Class C shares of the Fund. The minimum initial investment amount may be waived by the Adviser for the following categories: (1) sales through banks, broker-dealers and other financial institutions (including registered investment advisers and financial planners) purchasing shares on behalf of their clients in (i) discretionary and non-discretionary advisory programs, (ii) asset allocation programs, (iii) other programs in which the client pays an asset-based fee for advice or for executing transactions in Fund shares or for otherwise participating in the program or (iv) certain other investment programs that do not charge an asset-based fee, as outlined in an agreement between the Distributor and such financial institution; (2) sales through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Fund shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts, which may or may not charge a transaction fee; (3) qualified state tuition plans described in Section 529 of the Code (subject to all applicable terms and conditions); (4) defined contribution, defined benefit and other employer-sponsored employee benefit plans, whether or not qualified under the Code, where such plans purchase Class A, Class C and/or Class I shares through a plan-level or omnibus account sponsored or serviced by a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Fund, the Distributor and/or the Adviser pursuant to which such Class A, Class C and/or Class I shares are available to such plans; (5) certain retirement and deferred compensation programs established by Morgan Stanley Investment Management or its affiliates for their employees or the Trust’s Trustees; (6) current or retired directors, officers and employees of Morgan Stanley and any of its subsidiaries, such persons’ spouses, and children under the age of 21, and trust accounts for which any of such persons is a beneficiary; (7) current or retired Directors or Trustees of the Morgan Stanley Funds (as defined  herein), such persons’ spouses, and children under the age of 21, and trust accounts for which any of such persons is a beneficiary; (8) certain other registered open-end investment companies whose shares are distributed by the Distributor; (9) investments made in connection with certain mergers and/or reorganizations as approved by the Adviser; (10) the reinvestment of dividends from Class A, Class C or Class I shares of the Fund in additional shares of the same class of such Fund; or (11) certain other institutional investors based on assets under management or other considerations at the discretion of the Adviser. The Fund no longer accepts direct purchases of Class C shares by accounts for which no broker-dealer or other Financial Intermediary is specified. Any direct purchase received by the Fund’s transfer agent for Class C shares for such accounts will automatically be invested in Class A shares of the Fund.
Certain waivers may not be available depending on the policies at certain Financial Intermediaries. Each Financial Intermediary may also have its own rules about minimum initial investment amounts, minimum account balances, share transactions and limits on the number of share transactions you are permitted to make in a given time period. When purchasing shares through a Financial Intermediary, you may not benefit from certain policies and procedures of the Fund as your eligibility may be dependent upon the policies and procedures of your Financial Intermediary, including those regarding reductions of sales charges. Please consult your Financial Intermediary for more information.
Class R6 shares are offered only to eligible investors meeting certain minimum investment requirements. To purchase Class R6 shares, an investor must meet a minimum initial investment of $5 million or be a defined contribution, defined benefit or other employer sponsored employee benefit plan, in each case provided that the plan trades through an intermediary that combines its clients’ assets in a single omnibus account, whether or not such plan is qualified under the Code and in each case subject to the discretion of the Adviser. Initial omnibus trades of $5 million or more shall be accepted from certain platforms, including (i) banks and trust companies; (ii) insurance companies; and (iii) registered investment advisory firms. The $5 million minimum initial investment amount may be waived for Fund shares purchased by or through: (1) certain registered open-end investment companies whose shares are distributed by the Distributor; or (2) investments made in connection with certain mergers and/or reorganizations as approved by the Adviser.
If the value of your account falls below the applicable minimum initial investment amount for a class of shares of the Fund as a result of share redemptions or you no longer meet one of the waiver criteria set forth above, your account may be subject to involuntary
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
conversion or involuntary redemption, as applicable. You will be notified prior to any such conversions or redemptions. No CDSC will be imposed on any involuntary conversion or involuntary redemption.
The Adviser, in its sole discretion, may waive a minimum initial investment amount in certain cases.
Distribution of Fund Shares
Morgan Stanley Distribution, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of shares of the Fund. The Distributor receives no compensation from the Fund for distributing Class I and Class R6 shares of the Fund. The Trust has adopted a Shareholder Services Plan with respect to the Class A shares of the Fund and a Distribution and Shareholder Services Plan with respect to the Class L and Class C shares of the Fund (the “Plans”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. Under the Plans, the Fund pays the Distributor (i) a shareholder services fee of up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets of each of the Class A shares, Class L shares and Class C shares on an annualized basis and (ii) a distribution fee of up to 0.50% of the average daily net assets of Class L shares on an annualized basis and up to 0.75% of the average daily net assets of Class C shares on an annualized basis. The Distributor may compensate other parties for providing distribution-related and/or shareholder support services to investors who purchase Class A, Class L and Class C shares. Such fees relate solely to the Class A, Class L and Class C shares and will reduce the net investment income and total return of the Class A, Class L and Class C shares, respectively. Because the fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.
The Adviser and/or Distributor may pay compensation to Financial Intermediaries in connection with the sale, distribution, marketing and retention of the Fund’s shares and/or shareholder servicing. Such compensation may be significant in amount and the prospect of receiving any such additional compensation may provide affiliated or unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries with an incentive to favor sales of shares of the Fund over other investment options. Any such payments will not change the NAV or the price of the Fund’s shares. For more information, please see the Fund’s SAI.
About Net Asset Value
The NAV of a class of shares of the Fund is determined by dividing the total of the value of the Fund’s investments and other assets attributable to the class, less any liabilities attributable to the class, by the total number of outstanding shares of that class of the Fund. In making this calculation, the Fund generally values its portfolio securities and other assets at market price. When no market quotations are readily available for a security or other asset, including circumstances under which the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser  determine that a market quotation is not accurate, fair value for the security or other asset will be determined in good faith using methods approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees.
In addition, with respect to securities that primarily are listed on foreign exchanges, when an event occurs after the close of such exchanges that is likely to have changed the value of the securities (e.g., a percentage change in value of one or more U.S. securities indices in excess of specified thresholds), such securities will be valued at their fair value, as determined under procedures approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees. Securities also may be fair valued in the event of a significant development affecting a country or region or an issuer-specific development that is likely to have changed the value of the security. In these cases, the Fund’s NAV will reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair value rather than their market price. To the extent the Fund invests in open-end management companies (other than ETFs) that are registered under the 1940 Act, the Fund’s NAV is calculated based in relevant part upon the NAV of such funds. The prospectuses for such funds explain the circumstances under which they will use fair value pricing and its effects.
Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determined for a security or other asset is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of that security or other asset. With respect to securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your shares. The NAV of the Fund (excluding any applicable sales charges) is based on the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other assets. Although the assets of each class are invested in the same portfolio of securities or other assets, the NAV of each class will differ because the classes have different class specific expenses.
The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Fund’s provider of administrative services to calculate the NAV per share of the Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in calculating the Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended periods. The Fund may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which the Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be utilized to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.
The Fund’s NAV per share is subject to various investment and other risks. Please refer to the “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Related Risks” and “The Fund’s Investments and Strategies” sections of the Prospectus and SAI, respectively, for more information regarding risks associated with an investment in the Fund.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
Pricing of Fund Shares
You may buy or sell (redeem) shares of the Fund at the NAV next determined for the class after receipt of your order in good order, plus any applicable sales charge. The Trust determines the NAV for the Fund as of the close of the NYSE (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for business (the “Pricing Time”). Shares generally will not be priced on days that the NYSE is closed. If the NYSE is closed due to inclement weather, technology problems or any other reason on a day it would normally be open for business, or the NYSE has an unscheduled early closing on a day it has opened for business, the Fund reserves the right to treat such day as a business day and accept purchase and redemption orders until, and calculate its NAV as of, the normally scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE for that day, so long as the Adviser believes there generally remains an adequate market to obtain reliable and accurate market quotations. The Fund may elect to remain open and price its shares on days when the NYSE is closed but the primary securities markets on which the Fund’s securities trade remain open. Trading of securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges may take place on weekends and other days when the Fund does not price its shares. Therefore, to the extent, if any, that the Fund invests in securities primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your shares.
The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in shares of the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary offers to redeem all or a portion of its shares at its current NAV every regular business day. The value of shares of the Subsidiary fluctuates with the value of the Subsidiary’s portfolio investments. The Subsidiary prices its portfolio investments pursuant to the same pricing and valuation methodologies and procedures used by the Fund, which require, among other things, that each of the Subsidiary’s portfolio investments be marked-to-market (that is, the value on the Subsidiary’s books changes) each business day to reflect changes in the market value of each investment.
Portfolio Holdings
A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the  Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Trust’s SAI.
How To Purchase Fund Shares
You may purchase shares of the Fund on each day that the Fund is open for business by contacting your Financial Intermediary or directly from the Fund.
Purchasing Shares Through a Financial Intermediary
You may open a new account and purchase shares of the  Fund through a Financial Intermediary. The Financial Intermediary will assist you with the procedures to invest in shares of the Fund. Investors purchasing or selling shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary, including Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, may be charged transaction-based or other fees by the Financial Intermediary for its services. If you are purchasing shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary, please consult your Financial Intermediary for more information regarding any such fees and for purchase instructions.
Financial Intermediaries may impose a limit on the dollar value of a Class C share purchase order that they will accept.  You should discuss with your Financial Intermediary which share class is most appropriate for you based on the size of your investment, your expected time horizon for holding the shares and other factors, bearing in mind the availability of reduced sales loads on Class A share purchases that qualify for such reduction under the combined purchase privilege or right of accumulation privilege available on Class A share purchases.
The  availability of sales charge waivers and discounts may depend on whether you purchase Fund shares directly from the Fund (or the Distributor) or a Financial Intermediary. More information regarding sales charge discounts and waivers is summarized below. The Fund’s sales charge waivers (and discounts) disclosed in this Prospectus are available for qualifying purchases made directly from the Fund (or the Distributor) and are generally available through Financial Intermediaries. The sales charge waivers (and discounts) available through certain other Financial Intermediaries are set forth in Appendix A to this Prospectus (Intermediary-Specific Sales Charge Waivers and Discounts), which may differ from those available for purchases made directly from the Fund (or the Distributor). Please contact your Financial Intermediary regarding applicable sales charge waivers (and discounts) and for information regarding the Financial Intermediary’s related policies and procedures.
With respect to sales through Financial Intermediaries, no offers or sales of Fund shares may be made in any foreign jurisdiction, except with the consent of the Distributor.
Purchasing Shares Directly From the Fund
Initial Purchase
You may open a new account, subject to acceptance by the  Fund, and purchase shares of the Fund by completing and signing a New Account Application provided by SS&C Global Investor and Distribution Solutions, Inc. (“SS&C GIDS”), the Fund’s transfer agent, or Eaton Vance Management, the Fund’s co-transfer agent, which you can obtain by calling Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services at 1-800-869-6397 and mailing it to Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, c/o SS&C Global Investor and Distribution Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 219804, Kansas City, MO 64121-9804.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
After submitting a completed New Account Application to SS&C GIDS, you may wire Federal Funds (monies credited by a Federal Reserve Bank) to State Street Bank and Trust Company (the “Custodian”).  You should instruct your bank to send a Federal Funds wire in a specified amount to the Custodian using the following wire instructions:
State Street Bank and Trust Company
One Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111-2101
ABA #011000028
DDA #00575373
Attn: Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust
Subscription Account
Ref: (Fund Name, Account Number, Account Name)
The Fund no longer accepts direct purchases of Class C shares by accounts for which no broker-dealer or other Financial Intermediary is specified (i.e., such purchasers are not eligible investors for Class C shares). Any direct purchase received by the Fund’s transfer agent for Class C shares for such accounts will automatically be invested in Class A shares of the Fund. In addition, Class C shares held in an account for which no broker-dealer or other Financial Intermediary is specified and which are not subject to a CDSC will periodically be converted to Class A shares of the Fund.
Additional Investments
You may purchase additional shares of the Fund for your account at any time by contacting your Financial Intermediary or by contacting the Fund directly. For additional purchases directly from the Fund, you should write a “letter of instruction” that includes your account name, account number, the Fund name and the class selected, signed by the account owner(s), to assure proper crediting to your account. After mailing a “letter of instruction,” you may wire Federal Funds by following the instructions under “Initial Purchase.”
Sales Charges Applicable to Purchases of Class A Shares
Class A shares are subject to a sales charge equal to a maximum of 5.25% calculated as a percentage of the offering price on a single transaction as shown in the table below. For Class A shares sold by the Distributor, the Distributor will receive the sales charge imposed on purchases of Class A shares (or any CDSC paid on redemption) and will retain the full amount of such sales charge. As shown below, the sales charge is reduced for purchases of $50,000 and over.
 
Front-End Sales Charge
 
Amount of Single Transaction
Percentage of Public Offering Price
Approximate Percentage of Net Amount Invested
Dealer Commission as a Percentage of Public Offering Price
Less than $50,000
5.25%
5.54%
4.75%
$50,000 but less than $100,000
4.50%
4.71%
4.00%
$100,000 but less than $250,000
3.50%
3.63%
3.00%
$250,000 but less than $500,000
2.50%
2.56%
2.00%
$500,000 but less than $1 million
2.00%
2.04%
1.50%
$1 million and over*
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
* The Distributor may pay a commission of up to 1.00% to a Financial Intermediary for purchase amount of $1 million or more.
You may benefit from a reduced sales charge schedule (i.e., breakpoint discount) for purchases of Class A shares of the Fund by combining, in a single transaction, your purchase with purchases of Class A shares of the Fund by the following related accounts (“Related Accounts”):
A single account (including an individual, a joint account, a trust or fiduciary account).  
 
A family member account (limited to spouse, and children under the age of 21, but including trust accounts established solely for the benefit of a spouse, or children under the age of 21).
 
An UGMA/UTMA (Uniform Gifts to Minors Act/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) account.
 
An individual retirement account (“IRA”).
 
Investments made through employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts will not be aggregated with individual accounts.
Investments of $1 million or more are not subject to an initial sales charge, but are generally subject to a CDSC of 1.00% on sales made within 12 months after purchase. See “—How to Redeem Fund Shares” below for more information about how the CDSC is assessed. The CDSC is assessed on an amount equal to the lesser of the then market value of the shares or the historical cost of the
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
shares (which is the amount actually paid for the shares at the time of original purchase) being redeemed. Accordingly, no sales charge is imposed on increases in NAV above the initial purchase price. In determining whether a CDSC applies to a redemption, it is assumed that the shares being redeemed first are any shares in the shareholder’s account that are not subject to a CDSC, followed by shares held the longest in the shareholder’s account.
In addition to investments of $1 million or more, purchases of Class A shares are not subject to a front-end sales charge if your account qualifies under one of the following categories:
Sales through banks, broker-dealers and other financial institutions (including registered investment advisers and financial planners) purchasing shares on behalf of their clients in (i) discretionary and non-discretionary advisory programs, (ii) asset allocation programs, (iii) other programs in which the client pays an asset-based fee for advice or for executing transactions in Fund shares or for otherwise participating in the program or (iv) certain other investment programs that do not charge an asset-based fee, as outlined in an agreement between the Distributor and such financial institution.
 
Sales through Financial Intermediaries who have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Fund shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts, which may or may not charge a transaction fee.
 
Qualified state tuition plans described in Section 529 of the Code (subject to all applicable terms and conditions).
 
Defined contribution, defined benefit and other employer-sponsored employee benefit plans, whether or not qualified under the Code, where such plans purchase Class A shares through a plan-level or omnibus account sponsored or serviced by a Financial Intermediary that has an agreement with the Fund, the Distributor and/or the Adviser pursuant to which Class A shares are available to such plans without an initial sales charge.
 
Certain retirement and deferred compensation programs established by Morgan Stanley Investment Management or its affiliates for their employees or the Trust’s Trustees.
 
Current or retired Directors or Trustees of the Morgan Stanley Funds, such persons’ spouses, and children under the age of 21, and trust accounts for which any of such persons is a beneficiary.
 
Current or retired directors, officers and employees of Morgan Stanley and any of its subsidiaries, such persons’ spouses, and children under the age of 21, and trust accounts for which any of such persons is a beneficiary.
 
Certain other registered open-end investment companies, whose shares are distributed by the Distributor.
 
Investments made in connection with certain mergers and/or reorganizations as approved by the Adviser.
 
The reinvestment of dividends in additional Fund shares.
 
The reinvestment of dividends from Class A shares of the Fund in additional Class A shares of the Fund.
 
Current employees of financial intermediaries or their affiliates that have executed a selling agreement with the Distributor, such persons’ spouses, children under the age of 21, and trust accounts for which any such person is a beneficiary, as permitted by internal policies of their employer.
 
Investment and institutional clients of the Adviser and its affiliates.
 
Direct purchases of shares by accounts where no Financial Intermediary is specified.
 
Certain waivers may not be available depending on the policies at certain Financial Intermediaries. Please consult your Financial Intermediary for more information. For specific information with respect to sales charge waivers and discounts available through a specific Financial Intermediary, please refer to Appendix A attached to this Prospectus.
Combined Purchase Privilege
You will have the benefit of a reduced sales charge by combining your purchase of Class A shares of the Fund in a single transaction with your purchase of Class A shares of any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund (as defined herein) for any Related Account except for purchases of shares of Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income or Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios.
Right of Accumulation
Your sales charge may be reduced if you invest $50,000 or more in a single transaction, as calculated below:
(a) the NAV of Class A shares of the Fund being purchased plus the total of the NAV of any Class A, Class L and Class C shares of the Fund held in Related Accounts as of the transaction date,
(b) plus the total of the NAV of Class A, Class L and Class C shares of any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund excluding Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios (including shares of Morgan Stanley Money Market Funds (as defined herein) that you acquired in a prior exchange of Class A, Class
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
L or Class C shares of the Fund or Class A, Class L or Class C shares of another Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund, excluding Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios) held in Related Accounts as of the transaction date.
Notification
You must notify your Financial Intermediary (or the Trust’s transfer agent, if you purchase shares of the Fund directly through the Trust) at the time a purchase order is placed that the purchase qualifies for a reduced sales charge under any of the privileges discussed above. The reduced sales charge will not be granted if: (i) notification is not furnished at the time of the order; or (ii) a review of the records of your Financial Intermediary or the Trust’s  transfer agent, SS&C GIDS, or Eaton Vance Management, the Fund’s co-transfer agent, does not confirm your represented holdings. Certain waivers may not be available depending on the policies at certain Financial Intermediaries. Please consult your Financial Intermediary for more information.
In order to obtain a reduced sales charge for Class A shares of the Fund under any of the privileges discussed above, it may be necessary at the time of purchase for you to inform your Financial Intermediary (or the Trust’s transfer agent, if you purchase shares of the Fund directly through the Trust) of the existence of any Related Accounts in which there are holdings eligible to be aggregated to meet the sales load breakpoint and/or right of accumulation threshold. In order to verify your eligibility, you may be required to provide account statements and/or confirmations regarding your purchases and/or holdings of any Class A shares of the Fund or any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund (including shares of Morgan Stanley Money Market Funds that you acquired in an exchange from Class A shares of the Fund or any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund except Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios, if applicable) held in all Related Accounts at your Financial Intermediary, in order to determine whether you have met the sales load breakpoint and/or right of accumulation threshold.
Letter of Intent
The above schedule of reduced sales charges for larger purchases also will be available to you if you enter into a written “Letter of Intent.” A Letter of Intent provides for the purchase of Class A shares of the Fund and Class A shares of other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Funds, except Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios, within a 13-month period. The initial purchase of Class A shares of the Fund under a Letter of Intent must be at least 5% of the stated investment goal. The Letter of Intent does not preclude the Fund (or any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund) from discontinuing sales of its shares. To determine the applicable sales charge reduction, you may also include (1) the cost of Class A shares of the Fund or any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund that were previously purchased at a price including a front-end sales charge during the 90-day period prior to the Distributor receiving the Letter of Intent and (2) the historical cost of shares of any Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund that you acquired in an exchange from Class A shares of the Fund or any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund purchased during that period at a price including a front-end sales charge. You may also combine purchases and exchanges by any Related Accounts during such 90-day period.
You should retain any records necessary to substantiate historical costs because the Fund, SS&C GIDS and your Financial Intermediary may not maintain this information. You can obtain a Letter of Intent by contacting your Financial Intermediary or by calling toll-free 1-800-869-6397. If you do not achieve the stated investment goal within the 13-month period, you are required to pay the difference between the sales charges otherwise applicable and sales charges actually paid, which may be deducted from your investment. Shares acquired through reinvestment of distributions are not aggregated to achieve the stated investment goal.
Class A shares also are offered at net asset value to investment and institutional clients of the Adviser and its affiliates and direct purchases of shares by accounts where no Financial Intermediary is specified.
Conversion Features
A shareholder currently holding Class A shares of the Fund in a fee-based advisory program (“Advisory Program”) account, or currently holding Class A shares in a brokerage account but wishing to transfer into an Advisory Program account, may convert such shares to Class I shares of the Fund within the Advisory Program at any time. In addition, a shareholder holding Class C or Class L shares of the Fund through a brokerage account or an Advisory Program account may convert such shares to either Class A or Class I shares of the Fund within an Advisory Program at any time. Such conversions will be on the basis of the relative NAVs, without requiring any investment minimum to be met and without the imposition of any redemption fee or other charge. If a CDSC is applicable to such Class A or Class C shares, then the conversion may not occur until after the shareholder has held the shares for an 18-month or 12-month period, respectively, except that a CDSC applicable to Class A and Class C shares converted to Class I shares through Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Rollover IRAs, Inherited IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, BASIC Plans, Educational Savings Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts on the Merrill Lynch platform will be waived. With respect to Class A shares, Merrill Lynch will remit to the Distributor the full amount of the CDSC otherwise payable upon sale of such shares. With respect to Class C shares, Merrill Lynch will remit the portion of the payment to be made to the Distributor in an amount equal to the CDSC multiplied by the number of months remaining on the CDSC period divided by the maximum number of months of the CDSC period.
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
In addition, a shareholder holding a class of shares of the Fund in a Merrill Lynch Advisory Program account may have such shares converted by Merrill Lynch to an eligible class of shares of the Fund for a Merrill Lynch brokerage account upon the transfer of the shares of the Fund from a Merrill Lynch Advisory Program account to a brokerage account with Merrill Lynch. Such conversions will be on the basis of the relative NAVs and without the imposition of any redemption fee or other charge. The fees and expenses of the new class may be higher than those of the previously held class.
After eight years, Class C shares of the  Fund generally will convert automatically to Class A shares of the Fund with no initial sales charge, provided that the Fund or the Financial Intermediary through which a shareholder purchased or holds Class C shares has records verifying that the Class C shares have been held for at least eight years. The automatic conversion of Class C shares to Class A shares will not apply to shares held through group retirement plan recordkeeping platforms of certain Financial Intermediaries who hold such shares in an omnibus account and do not track participant level share lot aging to facilitate such a conversion. The eight-year period runs from the last day of the month in which the shares were purchased or, in the case of Class C shares acquired through an exchange, from the last day of the month in which the original Class C shares were purchased; the shares will convert to Class A shares based on their relative NAVs in the month following the eight-year period. At the same time, an equal proportion of Class C shares acquired through automatically reinvested distributions will convert to Class A shares on the same basis.
Furthermore, the Adviser may in its sole discretion permit a conversion of one share class to another share class of the same Fund in certain other circumstances, provided that the Fund’s eligibility requirements are met, and subject to the shareholder’s consent. Such conversions will be on the basis of the relative NAVs and without the imposition of any redemption fee or other charge.
A conversion of shares of one class directly for shares of another class of the same Fund normally should not be taxable for federal income tax purposes.
Please ask your financial advisor if you are eligible for converting a class of shares pursuant to these conversion features. A conversion feature’s availability will be subject to the applicable classes being offered on a Financial Intermediary’s platform. Shareholders should carefully review information in this Prospectus regarding share class features, including conversions and exchanges, or contact their financial advisor for more information. You should talk to your tax advisor before making a conversion.
In addition, Class C shares held in an account for which no broker-dealer or other Financial Intermediary is specified and which are not subject to a CDSC will periodically be converted to Class A shares of the Fund.
General
Shares of the Fund may, in the Fund’s discretion, be purchased with investment securities (in lieu of or, in conjunction with, cash) acceptable to the Fund. The securities would be accepted by the Fund at their market value in return for Fund shares of equal value, taking into account any applicable sales charge.
To help the U.S. Government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means to you is that when you open an account, we will ask your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. If we are unable to verify your identity, we reserve the right to restrict additional transactions and/or liquidate your account at the next calculated NAV after your account is closed (less any applicable sales/account charges and/or tax penalties) or take any other action required by law. In accordance with federal law requirements, the Trust has implemented an anti-money laundering compliance program, which includes the designation of an anti-money laundering compliance officer.
When you buy Fund shares, the shares (plus any applicable sales charge) will be purchased at the next share price calculated after we receive your purchase order in good order. Purchase orders not received in good order prior to Pricing Time will be executed at the NAV next determined after the purchase order is received in good order. Certain institutional investors and financial institutions have entered into arrangements with the Fund, the Adviser and/or the Distributor pursuant to which they may place orders prior to the Pricing Time, but make payment in Federal Funds for those shares up to three days after the purchase order is placed, depending on the arrangement. We reserve the right to reject any order for the purchase of Fund shares for any reason.
The Trust may suspend the offering of shares, or any class of shares, of the Fund or reject any purchase orders when we think it is in the best interest of the Fund.
Certain patterns of past exchanges and/or purchase or sale transactions involving the Fund may result in the Fund rejecting, limiting or prohibiting, at its sole discretion and without prior notice, additional purchases and/or exchanges and may result in a shareholder’s account being closed. Determinations in this regard may be made based on the frequency or dollar amount of previous exchanges or purchase or sale transactions. For more information, please refer to the section of this Prospectus entitled “Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares.”
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
How To Redeem Fund Shares
You may process a redemption request by contacting your Financial Intermediary. Otherwise, you may redeem shares of the Fund by mail or, if authorized, by telephone, at no charge other than as described below. The value of shares redeemed may be more or less than the purchase price, depending on the NAV at the time of redemption. Shares of the Fund will be redeemed at the NAV next determined after we receive your redemption request in good order and will be reduced by the amount of any applicable CDSC.
Redemptions by Letter
Requests should be addressed to Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, c/o SS&C GIDS, P.O. Box 219804, Kansas City, MO 64121-9804.
To be in good order, redemption requests must include the following documentation:
(a) A letter of instruction, if required, or a stock assignment specifying the account name, the account number, the name of the Fund and the number of shares or dollar amount to be redeemed, signed by all registered owners of the shares in the exact names in which the shares are registered, and whether you wish to receive the redemption proceeds by check or by wire to the bank account we have on file for you;
(b) Any required signature guarantees if you are requesting payment to anyone other than the registered owner(s) or that payment be sent to any address other than the address of the registered owner(s) or pre-designated bank account; and
(c) Other supporting legal documents, if required, in the case of estates, trusts, guardianships, custodianship, corporations, pension and profit sharing plans and other organizations.
Redemptions by Telephone
You automatically have telephone redemption and exchange privileges unless you indicate otherwise by checking the applicable box on the New Account Application or calling Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services to opt out of such privileges. You may request a redemption of shares of the Fund by calling the Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services at 1-800-869-6397 and requesting that the redemption proceeds be mailed or wired to you. You cannot redeem shares of the Fund by telephone if you hold share certificates for those shares.  For your protection when calling the Fund, we will employ reasonable procedures to confirm that instructions communicated over the telephone are genuine. These procedures may include requiring various forms of personal identification (such as name, mailing address, social security number or other tax identification number), tape-recording telephone communications and providing written confirmation of instructions communicated by telephone. If reasonable procedures are employed, neither Morgan Stanley, SS&C GIDS nor the Fund will be liable for following telephone instructions that it reasonably believes to be genuine. Telephone redemptions and exchanges may not be available if you cannot reach Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services by telephone, whether because all telephone lines are busy or for any other reason; in such case, a shareholder would have to use the Fund’s other redemption and exchange procedures described in this section. Telephone instructions will be accepted if received by Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on any day the NYSE is open for business. During periods of drastic economic or market changes, it is possible that the telephone privileges may be difficult to implement, although this has not been the case with the Fund in the past. To opt out of telephone privileges, please contact the Fund at 1-800-869-6397.
Systematic Withdrawal  Plan
If your investment in all of the Morgan Stanley Funds has a total market value of at least $10,000, you may elect to withdraw amounts of $25 or more, or in any whole percentage of a fund’s balance (provided the amount is at least $25), on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, from any fund with a balance of at least $1,000. Each time you add a fund to the plan, you must meet the plan requirements.
Amounts withdrawn are subject to any applicable CDSC. A CDSC may be waived under certain circumstances. See the Class A and Class C waiver categories listed below.
To sign up for the systematic withdrawal plan, contact your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor or call toll-free 1-800-869-6397. You may terminate or suspend your plan at any time. Please remember that withdrawals from the plan are sales of shares, not Fund “distributions,” and ultimately may exhaust your account balance. The Trust may terminate or revise the plan at any time.
CDSC Waivers on Class A and Class C Shares
The CDSC on Class A and Class C shares will be waived in connection with sales of Class A and Class C shares for which no commission or transaction fee was paid by the Distributor or Financial Intermediary at the time of purchase of such shares. In addition, a CDSC, if otherwise applicable, will be waived in the case of:
Sales of shares held at the time you die or become disabled (within the definition in Section 72(m)(7) of the Code, which relates to the ability to engage in gainful employment), if the shares are: (i) registered either in your individual name or in the names of you and your spouse as joint tenants with right of survivorship; (ii) registered in the name of a trust of which (a) you are the settlor and that is revocable by you (i.e., a “living trust”) or (b) you and your spouse are the settlors and that is revocable by you or your
 
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
spouse (i.e., a “joint living trust”); or (iii) held in a qualified corporate or self-employed retirement plan, IRA or 403(b) Custodial Account; provided in each case that the sale is requested within one year after your death or initial determination of disability.
 
Sales in connection with the following retirement plan “distributions”: (i) lump-sum or other distributions from a qualified corporate or self-employed retirement plan following retirement (or, in the case of a “key employee” of a “top heavy” plan, following attainment of age 59½); (ii) required minimum distributions and certain other distributions (such as those following attainment of age 59½) from an IRA or 403(b) Custodial Account; or (iii) a tax-free return of an excess IRA contribution (a “distribution” does not include a direct transfer of IRA, 403(b) Custodial Account or retirement plan assets to a successor custodian or trustee).
 
Sales of shares in connection with the systematic withdrawal plan of up to 12% annually of the value of the Fund from which plan sales are made. The percentage is determined on the date you establish the systematic withdrawal plan and based on the next calculated share price. You may have this CDSC waiver applied in amounts up to 1% per month, 3% per quarter, 6% semi-annually or 12% annually. Shares with no CDSC will be sold first, followed by those with the lowest CDSC. As such, the waiver benefit will be reduced by the amount of your shares that are not subject to a CDSC. If you suspend your participation in the plan, you may later resume plan payments without requiring a new determination of the account value for the 12% CDSC waiver.
 
The Distributor may require confirmation of your entitlement before granting a CDSC waiver. If you believe you are eligible for a CDSC waiver, please contact your Financial Intermediary or call toll-free 1-800-869-6397.
Redemption Proceeds
The Fund typically expects to pay redemption proceeds to you within two business days following receipt of your redemption request for those payments made to your brokerage account held with a Financial Intermediary. For redemption proceeds that are paid directly to you by the Fund, the Fund typically expects to pay redemption proceeds by check or by wire  to you within one business day, following receipt of your redemption request; however, in all cases, it may take up to seven calendar days to pay redemption proceeds.
The Fund typically expects to meet redemption requests by using a combination of sales of securities held by the Fund and/or holdings of cash and cash equivalents. On a less regular basis, the Fund also reserves the right to use borrowings or interfund lending to meet redemption requests, and the Fund may use these methods during both normal and stressed market conditions.
If we determine that it is in the best interest of the Trust or the Fund not to pay redemption proceeds in cash, we may distribute to you securities held by the Fund. If requested, we will pay a portion of your redemption(s) in cash (during any 90 day period) up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the net assets of the Fund at the beginning of such period. If the Fund redeems your shares in-kind, you will bear any market risks associated with the securities paid as redemption proceeds. Such in-kind securities may be illiquid and difficult or impossible for a shareholder to sell at a time and at a price that a shareholder would like. Redemptions paid in such securities generally will give rise to income, gain or loss for income tax purposes in the same manner as redemptions paid in cash. In addition, you may incur brokerage costs and a further gain or loss for income tax purposes when you ultimately sell the securities.
Reinstatement Privilege
If you redeem shares, you may reinvest at net asset value all or any portion of the redemption proceeds in the same account and in the same class of shares of the Fund you redeemed from or another Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund, provided that the reinvestment occurs within 90 days of the redemption, the privilege has not been used more than once in the prior 12 months, the redeemed shares were subject to a front-end sales charge or CDSC and that you are otherwise eligible to invest in that class. Under these circumstances your account will be credited with any CDSC paid in connection with the redemption. Any CDSC period applicable to the shares you acquire upon reinvestment will run from the date of your original share purchase. For requests for reinvestment sent to the Fund’s transfer agent, the request must be in writing. At the time of a reinvestment, you or your Financial Intermediary must notify the Fund or the transfer agent that you are reinvesting redemption proceeds in accordance with this privilege. If you reinvest, your purchase will be at the next determined net asset value following receipt of your request.
Exchange Privilege
You may exchange shares of any class of the Fund for the same class of shares of any mutual fund (excluding money market funds) sponsored and advised by the Adviser (each, a “Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund”), if available, without the imposition of an exchange fee. Class L shares of the Fund may be exchanged for Class L shares of any Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund even though Class L shares are closed to investors. In addition, you may exchange shares of any class of the Fund for shares of Morgan Stanley California Tax-Free Daily Income Trust, Morgan Stanley Tax-Free Daily Income Trust and Morgan Stanley U.S. Government Money Market Trust (each, a “Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund” and, together with the Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Funds, the “Morgan Stanley Funds”), if available, without the imposition of an exchange fee.  Because purchases of Class A shares of Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Ultra-Short Income and Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios are not subject to a sales charge, and purchases of Class A shares of Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income Portfolio are subject to a reduced sales charge, you may be subject to the payment of a sales charge by your Financial Intermediary, at time of exchange into
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
Class A shares of a Morgan Stanley Fund, based on the amount that you would have owed if you directly purchased Class A shares of that Morgan Stanley Fund (less any sales charge previously paid in connection with shares exchanged for such shares of Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Short Duration Income, Ultra-Short Income or Ultra-Short Municipal Income Portfolios, as applicable). Class L shares of the Fund that are exchanged for shares of a Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund may be subsequently re-exchanged for Class L shares of any other Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund (even though Class L shares are closed to investors). Exchanges are effected based on the respective NAVs of the applicable Morgan Stanley Fund (subject to any applicable redemption fee) and in accordance with the eligibility requirements of such Fund. To obtain a prospectus for another Morgan Stanley Fund, contact your Financial Intermediary or call Morgan Stanley Shareholder Services at 1-800-869-6397. Prospectuses are also available on our Internet site at www.morganstanley.com/im. If you purchased Fund shares through a Financial Intermediary, certain Morgan Stanley Funds may be unavailable for exchange. Contact your Financial Intermediary for more information regarding the exchange privilege and to determine which Morgan Stanley Funds are available for exchange.
The current prospectus for each Morgan Stanley Fund describes its investment objective(s), policies, investment minimums and applicable sales charges, and should be read before investing. Since exchanges are available only into continuously offered Morgan Stanley Funds, exchanges are generally not available into Morgan Stanley Funds or classes of Morgan Stanley Funds that are not currently being offered for purchase.
You can process your exchange by contacting your Financial Intermediary. You may also send exchange requests to the Trust’s  transfer agent, SS&C GIDS, or Eaton Vance Management, the Fund’s co-transfer agent, by mail to Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, c/o SS&C GIDS, P.O. Box 219804, Kansas City, MO 64121-9804 or by calling 1-800-869-6397.
There are special considerations when you exchange Class A and Class C shares of the Fund that are subject to a CDSC. When determining the length of time you held the Class A or Class C shares, any period (starting at the end of the month) during which you held such shares will be counted. In addition, any period (starting at the end of the month) during which you held (i) Class A or Class C shares of other funds of the Trust; (ii) Class A or Class C shares of a Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund; or (iii) shares of a Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund, any of which you acquired in an exchange from such Class A or Class C shares of the Fund, will also be counted; however, if you sell shares of (a) such other fund of the Trust; (b) the Morgan Stanley Multi-Class Fund; or (c) the Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund, before the expiration of the CDSC “holding period,” you will be charged the CDSC applicable to such shares.
You will be subject to the same minimum initial investment and account size as an initial purchase. Your exchange price will be the price calculated at the next Pricing Time after the Morgan Stanley Fund receives your exchange order. The Morgan Stanley Fund, in its sole discretion, may waive the minimum initial investment amount in certain cases. For direct accounts, the check writing privilege is not available for Morgan Stanley Money Market Fund shares you acquire in an exchange from a non-money market fund. If you are investing through a financial advisor, check with your advisor regarding the availability of check writing privileges. The Fund may terminate or revise the exchange privilege upon required notice or in certain cases without notice. The Fund reserves the right to reject an exchange order for any reason.
If you exchange shares of the Fund for shares of another Morgan Stanley Fund, there are important tax considerations. For tax purposes, the exchange out of the Fund is considered a sale of Fund shares and the exchange into the other fund is considered a purchase. As a result, you may realize a capital gain or loss. You should review the “Taxes” section and consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an exchange.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
Frequent purchases and redemptions of shares by Fund shareholders are referred to as “market-timing” or “short-term trading” and may present risks for other shareholders of the Fund, which may include, among other things, diluting the value of the Fund’s shares held by long-term shareholders, interfering with the efficient management of the Fund, increasing brokerage and administrative costs, incurring unwanted taxable gains and forcing the Fund to hold excess levels of cash.
In addition, the Fund is subject to the risk that market-timers and/or short-term traders may take advantage of time zone differences between the foreign markets on which the Fund’s securities trade and the time the Fund’s NAV is calculated (“time-zone arbitrage”). For example, a market-timer may purchase shares of the Fund based on events occurring after foreign market closing prices are established, but before the Fund’s NAV calculation, that are likely to result in higher prices in foreign markets the following day. The market-timer would redeem the Fund’s shares the next day when the Fund’s share price would reflect the increased prices in foreign markets for a quick profit at the expense of long-term Fund shareholders.
Investments in other types of securities also may be susceptible to short-term trading strategies. These investments include securities that are, among other things, thinly traded, traded infrequently or relatively illiquid, which have the risk that the current market price for the securities may not accurately reflect current market values. A shareholder may seek to engage in short-term trading to take advantage of these pricing differences (referred to as “price arbitrage”). Investments in certain fixed-income securities may be adversely affected by price arbitrage trading strategies.
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Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
The Trust discourages and does not accommodate frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares by Fund shareholders and the Trust’s Board of Trustees has adopted policies and procedures with respect to such frequent purchases and redemptions.
The Trust’s policies with respect to purchases, redemptions and exchanges of Fund shares are described in the “Shareholder Information—How To Purchase Fund Shares,” “Shareholder Information—Sales Charges Applicable to Purchases of Class A Shares,” “Shareholder Information—General,” “Shareholder Information—How To Redeem Fund Shares” and “Shareholder Information—Exchange Privilege” sections of this Prospectus. Except as described in each of these sections, and with respect to trades that occur through omnibus accounts at Financial Intermediaries, as described below, the Trust’s policies regarding frequent trading of Fund shares are applied uniformly to all shareholders. With respect to trades that occur through omnibus accounts at Financial Intermediaries, such as investment advisers, broker-dealers, transfer agents and third-party administrators, the Trust (i) has requested assurance that such Financial Intermediaries currently selling Fund shares have in place internal policies and procedures reasonably designed to address market-timing concerns and has instructed such Financial Intermediaries to notify the Fund immediately if they are unable to comply with such policies and procedures and (ii) requires all prospective Financial Intermediaries to agree to cooperate in enforcing the Trust’s policies (or, upon prior written approval only, a Financial Intermediary’s own policies) with respect to frequent purchases, redemptions and exchanges of Fund shares.
With respect to trades that occur through omnibus accounts at Financial Intermediaries, to some extent, the Trust relies on the Financial Intermediary to monitor frequent short-term trading within the Fund by the Financial Intermediary’s customers. However, the Fund has entered into agreements with Financial Intermediaries whereby Financial Intermediaries are required to provide certain customer identification and transaction information upon the Fund’s request. The Fund may use this information to help identify and prevent market-timing activity in the Fund. There can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to identify or prevent all market-timing activities.
Taxes
As with any investment, you should consider how your Fund investment will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in the Fund. Unless your investment in the  Fund is through a tax deferred retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions and when you sell shares, including an exchange to another Morgan Stanley Fund.
Taxation of Distributions. Your distributions normally are subject to federal and state income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in Fund shares. A distribution also may be subject to local income tax. Any income dividend distributions and any short-term capital gain distributions are taxable to you as ordinary income. Any long-term capital gain distributions are taxable as long-term capital gains, no matter how long you have owned shares in the Fund.
If certain holding period requirements are met with respect to your shares, a portion of the income dividends you receive may be taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains. However, even if income received in the form of income dividends is taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains, such income will not be considered long-term capital gains for other federal income tax purposes. For example, you will not be permitted to offset income dividends with capital losses. Short term capital gain distributions will continue to be taxed as ordinary income taxes.
If certain holding period requirements are met, corporate shareholders may be entitled to a dividends-received deduction for the portion of dividends they receive which are attributable to dividends received by such portfolios from U.S. corporations.
If you buy shares of the Fund before a distribution, you may be subject to tax on the entire amount of the taxable distribution you receive. Distributions are taxable to you even if they are paid from income or gain earned by the Fund before your investment (and thus were included in the price you paid for your Fund shares).
Investment income received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income taxes.
You will be sent a statement (Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form 1099-DIV) by February of each year showing the taxable distributions paid to you in the previous year. The statement provides information on your dividends and any capital gains for tax purposes.
Taxation of Sales. Your sale of Fund shares normally is subject to federal and state income tax and may result in a taxable gain or loss to you. A sale also may be subject to local income tax. Your exchange of Fund shares for shares of another Morgan Stanley Fund is treated for tax purposes like a sale of your original shares and a purchase of your new shares. Thus, the exchange may, like a sale, result in a taxable gain or loss to you and will give you a new tax basis for your shares.
The Fund (or its administrative agent) is required to report to the IRS and furnish to Fund shareholders the cost basis information for sale transactions of shares purchased on or after January 1, 2012. Shareholders may elect to have one of several cost basis methods applied to their account when calculating the cost basis of shares sold, including average cost, FIFO (“first-in, first-out”) or some
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
other specific identification method. Unless you instruct otherwise, the Fund will use average cost as its default cost basis method, and will treat sales as first coming from shares purchased prior to January 1, 2012. If average cost is used for the first sale of Fund shares covered by these new rules, the shareholder may only use an alternative cost basis method for shares purchased prospectively. Fund shareholders should consult with their tax advisors to determine the best cost basis method for their tax situation.
An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.
When you open your account, you should provide your social security or tax identification number on your investment application. By providing this information, you will avoid being subject to federal backup withholding at the applicable rate on taxable distributions and redemption proceeds. Any withheld amount would be sent to the IRS as an advance payment of your taxes due on your income for such year.
One of the requirements for favorable tax treatment as a regulated investment company under the Code is that the Fund derive at least 90% of its gross income from certain qualifying sources of income.
The Fund may seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary or commodity index-linked structured notes. Historically, the IRS has issued private letter rulings in which the IRS specifically concluded that income and gains from investments in commodity index-linked structured notes (the “Notes Rulings”) or a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked instruments are “qualifying income” for purposes of compliance with Subchapter M of the Code. The Fund has not received such a private letter ruling, and is not able to rely on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers. The IRS recently issued a revenue procedure, which states that the IRS will not in the future issue private letter rulings that would require a determination of whether an asset (such as a commodity index-linked note) is a “security” under the 1940 Act. In connection with issuing such revenue procedure, the IRS has revoked the Notes Rulings. The IRS also recently issued final regulations that would generally treat the Fund’s income inclusion with respect to the Subsidiary as qualifying income either if (A) there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the Subsidiary that are attributable to such income inclusion or (B) such inclusion is derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies. The Fund intends to treat its income from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. No assurances can be provided that the IRS would not be able to successfully assert that the Fund’s income from such investments was not “qualifying income,” in which case the Fund would fail to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code if over 10% of its gross income was derived from these investments. If the Fund failed to qualify as a regulated investment company, it would be subject to federal and state income tax on all of its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates with no deduction for any distributions paid to shareholders, which would significantly adversely affect the returns to, and could cause substantial losses for, Fund shareholders.
Shareholders who are not citizens or residents of the United States and certain foreign entities will generally be subject to withholding of U.S. tax of 30% on distributions made by the Fund of investment income and short-term capital gains.
The Fund is required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of taxable dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.
Because each investor’s tax circumstances are unique and the tax laws may change, you should consult your tax advisor about your investment.
Dividends and Distributions
The Fund’s policy is to distribute to shareholders substantially all of its net investment income, if any, in the form of an annual dividend and to distribute net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually.
The Fund automatically reinvests all dividends and distributions in additional shares. However, you may elect to receive distributions in cash by giving written notice to the Fund or your Financial Intermediary or by checking the appropriate box in the Distribution Option section on the New Account Application.
For accounts held directly with the Fund’s transfer agent for which the shareholder has elected to receive distributions via check, any distribution (dividend or capital gain) under $10.00 is automatically reinvested in additional shares regardless of your elected distribution option.
Potential Conflicts of Interest
As a diversified global financial services firm, Morgan Stanley, the parent company of the Adviser, engages in a broad spectrum of activities, including financial advisory services, investment management activities, lending, commercial banking, sponsoring and
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
managing private investment funds, engaging in broker-dealer transactions and principal securities, commodities and foreign exchange transactions, research publication and other activities. In the ordinary course of its business, Morgan Stanley is a full-service investment banking and financial services firm and therefore engages in activities where Morgan Stanley’s interests or the interests of its clients may conflict with the interests of the Fund. Morgan Stanley advises clients and sponsors, manages or advises other investment funds and investment programs, accounts and businesses (collectively, together with any new or successor funds, programs, accounts or businesses, the ‘‘Affiliated Investment Accounts’’) with a wide variety of investment objectives that in some instances may overlap or conflict with the Fund’s investment objectives and present conflicts of interest. In addition, Morgan Stanley may also from time to time create new or successor Affiliated Investment Accounts that may compete with the Fund and present similar conflicts of interest. The discussion below enumerates certain actual, apparent and potential conflicts of interest. There is no assurance that conflicts of interest will be resolved in favor of Fund shareholders and, in fact, they may not be. Conflicts of interest not described below may also exist.
For more information about conflicts of interest, see the section entitled “Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.
Material Nonpublic Information. It is expected that confidential or material nonpublic information regarding an investment or potential investment opportunity may become available to the Adviser. If such information becomes available, the Adviser may be precluded (including by applicable law or internal policies or procedures) from pursuing an investment or disposition opportunity with respect to such investment or investment opportunity. Morgan Stanley has established certain information barriers and other policies to address the sharing of information between different businesses within Morgan Stanley. In limited circumstances, however, including for purposes of managing business and reputational risk, and subject to policies and procedures and any applicable regulations, personnel, including personnel of the investment adviser, on one side of an information barrier may have access to information and personnel on the other side of the information barrier through “wall crossings.” The Adviser faces conflicts of interest in determining whether to engage in such wall crossings. Information obtained in connection with such wall crossings may limit or restrict the ability of the Adviser to engage in or otherwise effect transactions on behalf of the Fund (including purchasing or selling securities that the Adviser may otherwise have purchased or sold for the Fund in the absence of a wall crossing).  
Investments by Morgan Stanley and its Affiliated Investment Accounts. In serving in multiple capacities to Affiliated Investment Accounts, Morgan Stanley, including the Adviser and the Investment team, may have obligations to other clients or investors in Affiliated Investment Accounts, the fulfillment of which may not be in the best interests of the Fund or its shareholders. The Fund’s investment objectives may overlap with the investment objectives of certain Affiliated Investment Accounts. As a result, the members of an Investment team may face conflicts in the allocation of investment opportunities among the Fund and other investment funds, programs, accounts and businesses advised by or affiliated with the Adviser. Certain Affiliated Investment Accounts may provide for higher management or incentive fees or greater expense reimbursements or overhead allocations, all of which may contribute to this conflict of interest and create an incentive for the Adviser to favor such other accounts. To seek to reduce potential conflicts of interest and to attempt to allocate such investment opportunities in a fair and equitable manner, the Adviser has implemented allocation policies and procedures. These policies and procedures are intended to give all clients of the Adviser, including the Fund, fair access to investment opportunities consistent with the requirements of organizational documents, investment strategies, applicable laws and regulations, and the fiduciary duties of the Adviser.  
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries. The Adviser and/or the Distributor may pay compensation, out of their own funds and not as an expense of the Fund, to certain Financial Intermediaries (which may include affiliates of the Adviser and Distributor), including recordkeepers and administrators of various deferred compensation plans, in connection with the sale, distribution, marketing and retention of shares of the Fund and/or shareholder servicing. The prospect of receiving, or the receipt of, additional compensation, as described above, by Financial Intermediaries may provide such Financial Intermediaries and their financial advisors and other salespersons with an incentive to favor sales of shares of the Fund over other investment options with respect to which these Financial Intermediaries do not receive additional compensation (or receives lower levels of additional compensation). These payment arrangements, however, will not change the price that an investor pays for shares of the Fund or the amount that the Fund receives to invest on behalf of an investor. Investors may wish to take such payment arrangements into account when considering and evaluating any recommendations relating to Fund shares and should review carefully any disclosures provided by Financial Intermediaries as to their compensation. In addition, in certain circumstances, the Adviser restricts, limits or reduces the amount of the Fund’s investment, or restricts the type of governance or voting rights it acquires or exercises, where the Fund (potentially together with Morgan Stanley) exceeds a certain ownership interest, or possesses certain degrees of voting or control or has other interests.  
Morgan Stanley Trading and Principal Investing Activities. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, Morgan Stanley will generally conduct its sales and trading businesses, publish research and analysis, and render investment advice without regard for the Fund’s holdings, although these activities could have an adverse impact on the value of one or more of the Fund’s investments, or could cause Morgan Stanley to have an interest in one or more portfolio investments that is different from, and potentially adverse to, that of the Fund.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Shareholder Information 
Shareholder Information (Con’t) 
Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking and Other Commercial Activities. Morgan Stanley advises clients on a variety of mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, bankruptcy and financing transactions. Morgan Stanley may act as an advisor to clients, including other investment funds that may compete with the Fund and with respect to investments that the Fund may hold. Morgan Stanley may give advice and take action with respect to any of its clients or proprietary accounts that may differ from the advice given, or may involve an action of a different timing or nature than the action taken, by the Fund. Morgan Stanley may give advice and provide recommendations to persons competing with the Fund and/or any of the Fund’s investments that are contrary to the Fund’s best interests and/or the best interests of any of its investments. Morgan Stanley’s activities on behalf of its clients (such as engagements as an underwriter or placement agent) may restrict or otherwise limit investment opportunities that may otherwise be available to the Fund.
Morgan Stanley may be engaged to act as a financial advisor to a company in connection with the sale of such company, or subsidiaries or divisions thereof, may represent potential buyers of businesses through its mergers and acquisition activities and may provide lending and other related financing services in connection with such transactions. Morgan Stanley’s compensation for such activities is usually based upon realized consideration and is usually contingent, in substantial part, upon the closing of the transaction. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be precluded from participating in a transaction with or relating to the company being sold or participating in any financing activity related to a merger or an acquisition.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus  |  Consolidated Financial Highlights 
Consolidated Financial Highlights 
The consolidated financial highlights tables that follow are intended to help you understand the financial performance of the Class I, Class A, Class L, Class C and Class R6 shares of the Fund for the past five years. Certain information reflects financial results for a single Fund share. The total returns in the tables represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions).
The ratio of expenses to average net assets listed in the tables below for each class of shares of the Fund are based on the average net assets of the Fund for each of the periods listed in the tables. To the extent that the Fund’s average net assets decrease over the Fund’s next fiscal year, such expense ratios can be expected to increase, potentially significantly, because certain fixed costs will be spread over a smaller amount of assets.
The information below has been derived from the consolidated financial statements audited by Ernst & Young LLP, the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. Ernst & Young LLP’s report, along with the Fund’s consolidated financial statements, are incorporated by reference into the Fund’s SAI. The Annual Report to Shareholders (which includes the Fund’s consolidated financial statements) and SAI are available at no cost from the Trust at the toll-free number noted on the back cover to this Prospectus.
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus   |   Consolidated Financial Highlights 
Global Strategist Portfolio 
 
Class I
 
Year Ended September 30,
Selected Per Share Data and Ratios
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
Net Asset Value, Beginning of Period
$
18.74
$
16.08
$
15.45
$
17.05
$
17.48
Income (Loss) from Investment Operations:
Net Investment Income(1)
 
0.19
 
0.16
 
0.17
 
0.27
 
0.33
Net Realized and Unrealized Gain (Loss)
 
(3.94
)
 
2.73
 
0.74
 
0.17
 
0.35
Total from Investment Operations
 
(3.75
)
 
2.89
 
0.91
 
0.44
 
0.68
Distributions from and/or in Excess of:
Net Investment Income
 
(0.12
)
 
(0.22
)
 
(0.03
)
 
(0.58
)
 
(0.21
)
Net Realized Gain
 
(1.29
)
 
(0.01
)
 
(0.25
)
 
(1.46
)
 
(0.90
)
Total Distributions
 
(1.41
)
 
(0.23
)
 
(0.28
)
 
(2.04
)
 
(1.11
)
Net Asset Value, End of Period
$
13.58
$
18.74
$
16.08
$
15.45
$
17.05
Total Return(2)
 
(21.73
)%
 
18.10
%
 
5.93
%
 
3.74
%
 
3.94
%
Ratios to Average Net Assets and Supplemental Data:
Net Assets, End of Period (Thousands)
$
17,886
$
26,745
$
34,031
$
57,532
$
62,998
Ratio of Expenses Before Expense Limitation
 
0.83
%
 
0.76
%
 
0.84
%
 
0.84
%
 
0.85
%
Ratio of Expenses After Expense Limitation
 
0.72
%
(3)
 
0.73
%
(3)
 
0.72
%
(3)
 
0.72
%
(3)
 
0.73
%
(3)
Ratio of Expenses After Expense Limitation Excluding
Interest Expenses
 
N/A
 
0.73
%
(3)
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
N/A
Ratio of Net Investment Income
 
1.13
%
(3)
 
0.90
%
(3)
 
1.14
%
(3)
 
1.80
%
(3)
 
1.95
%
(3)
Ratio of Rebate from Morgan Stanley Affiliates
 
0.02
%
 
0.01
%
 
0.02
%
 
0.02
%
 
0.01
%
Portfolio Turnover Rate
 
93
%
 
115
%
 
109
%
 
117
%
 
132
%
(1)
Per share amount is based on average shares outstanding.
(2)
Calculated based on the net asset value as of the last business day of the period.
(3)
The Ratio of Expenses After Expense Limitation and Ratio of Net Investment Income reflect the rebate of certain Fund expenses in connection with the investments in Morgan Stanley affiliates during the period. The effect of the rebate on the ratios is disclosed in the above table as “Ratio of Rebate from Morgan Stanley Affiliates.”
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Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Prospectus   |   Consolidated Financial Highlights 
Global Strategist Portfolio 
 
Class A
 
Year Ended September 30,
Selected Per Share Data and Ratios
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
Net Asset Value, Beginning of Period
$
18.53
$
15.91
$
15.30
$
16.90
$
17.32
Income (Loss) from Investment Operations:
Net Investment Income(1)
 
0.14
 
0.12
 
0.13
 
0.23
 
0.28
Net Realized and Unrealized Gain (Loss)
 
(3.90
)
 
2.68
 
0.73
 
0.15
 
0.35
Total from Investment Operations
 
(3.76
)
 
2.80
 
0.86
 
0.38
 
0.63
Distributions from and/or in Excess of:
Net Investment Income
 
(0.07
)
 
(0.17
)
 
 
(0.52
)
 
(0.15
)
Net Realized Gain
 
(1.29
)
 
(0.01
)
 
(0.25
)
 
(1.46
)
 
(0.90
)
Total Distributions
 
(1.36
)
 
(0.18
)
 
(0.25
)
 
(1.98
)
 
(1.05
)
Net Asset Value, End of Period
$
13.41
$
18.53
$
15.91
$
15.30
$
16.90
Total Return(2)