WESTERN ASSET FUNDS, INC.

May 1, 2023

WESTERN ASSET FUNDS, INC.

 

Fund    Ticker Symbol
 
     Class A    Class C    Class C1    Class FI    Class R    Class I    Class IS
 

WESTERN ASSET CORE BOND FUND

(“Core Bond Fund”)

   WABAX    WABCX    LWACX    WAPIX    WABRX    WATFX    WACSX
 

WESTERN ASSET CORE PLUS BOND FUND

(“Core Plus Bond Fund”)

   WAPAX    WAPCX    LWCPX    WACIX    WAPRX    WACPX    WAPSX
 

WESTERN ASSET INFLATION INDEXED PLUS BOND FUND

(“Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund”)

   WAFAX    WAFCX    LWICX    WATPX    WAFRX    WAIIX    WAFSX

100 International Drive

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

877-6LM-FUND/656-3863

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and is meant to be read in conjunction with the Prospectus of the Fund, dated May 1, 2023, as amended or supplemented from time to time, and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into each Prospectus. This SAI contains additional information about each fund listed above (references to the “Fund” mean each Fund listed on this cover page, unless otherwise noted).

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. The annual report contains financial statements that are incorporated herein by reference (https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/863520/000119312523052917/d433414dncsr.htm https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/863520/000119312523052799/d380135dncsr.htm https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/863520/000119312523055618/d405071dncsr.htm). The Fund’s Prospectus and copies of the annual and semi-annual reports may be obtained free of charge by contacting banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies, investment advisers, financial consultants or advisers, mutual fund supermarkets and other financial intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to sell shares of the Fund (each called a “Service Agent”), by writing the Fund at Legg Mason Funds, P.O. Box 33030, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-8030, by calling the telephone number set forth above, by sending an e-mail request to [email protected] or by visiting www.franklintempleton.com/mutualfundsliterature. Franklin Distributors, LLC (“Franklin Distributors” or the “Distributor”), an indirect, wholly-owned broker/dealer subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc., serves as the Fund’s sole and exclusive distributor.

THIS SAI IS NOT A PROSPECTUS AND IS AUTHORIZED FOR DISTRIBUTION TO PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS ONLY IF PRECEDED OR ACCOMPANIED BY AN EFFECTIVE PROSPECTUS.

No person has been authorized to give any information or to make any representations not contained in the Prospectus or this SAI in connection with the offering made by the Prospectus and, if given or made, such information or representations must not be relied upon as having been authorized by the Fund or the Distributor. The Prospectus and this SAI do not constitute an offering by the Fund or by the Distributor in any jurisdiction in which such offering may not lawfully be made.


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

     1  

INVESTMENT POLICIES

     3  

Investment Objective and Strategies

     3  

Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Investment Policies—General

     4  

Fundamental Investment Policies

     4  

Diversification

     6  

Non-Fundamental Investment Policies

     6  

Commodity Exchange Act Regulation—Exclusion from Commodity Pool Operator Definition

     6  

INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND RISK FACTORS

     7  

MANAGEMENT

     48  

Directors and Officers

     48  

Qualifications of Directors, Board Leadership Structure and Oversight and Standing Committees

     52  

Director Ownership of Securities

     54  

Director Compensation

     55  

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AND SERVICE PROVIDER INFORMATION

     55  

Manager

     55  

Subadviser

     57  

Expenses

     58  

Investment Professionals

     59  

Other Accounts Managed by the Investment Professionals

     59  

Investment Professionals Securities Ownership

     62  

Conflicts of Interest

     62  

Investment Professional Compensation

     63  

Custodian and Transfer Agent

     64  

Fund Counsel

     64  

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     64  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     64  

Portfolio Transactions

     64  

Brokerage and Research Services

     65  

Aggregate Brokerage Commissions Paid

     66  

Securities of Regular Broker/Dealers

     66  

Portfolio Turnover

     67  

SHARE OWNERSHIP

     68  

Principal Shareholders

     68  

DISTRIBUTOR

     77  

Dealer Commissions and Concessions

     80  

Sales Charges

     80  

Initial Sales Charges

     80  

Contingent Deferred Sales Charges

     81  

Services and Distribution Plan

     82  

PURCHASE OF SHARES

     84  

REDEMPTION OF SHARES

     92  

EXCHANGE OF SHARES

     94  

VALUATION OF SHARES

     96  

PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

     96  

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

     96  

General Rules/Website Disclosure

     96  

Ongoing Arrangements

     97  

Release of Limited Portfolio Holdings Information

     99  

Exceptions to the Policy

     99  

Limitations of Policy

     99  

THE CORPORATION

     100  

TAXES

     100  

CODES OF ETHICS

     111  


 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     111  

APPENDIX A—PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

     A-1  

APPENDIX B—CREDIT RATINGS

     B-1  

APPENDIX C—PROCEDURES FOR SHAREHOLDERS TO SUBMIT NOMINEE CANDIDATES

     C-1  

 


GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Because the following is a combined glossary of terms used for all the Legg Mason Funds, certain terms below may not apply to your fund. Any terms used but not defined herein have the meaning ascribed to them in the applicable Fund’s prospectus.

“12b-1 Plans” means the Fund’s distribution and shareholder services plan.

“1933 Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

“1934 Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

“1940 Act” means the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

“1940 Act Vote” means the vote of the lesser of: (a) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund; or (b) 67% or more of the shares of the Fund present at a shareholders’ meeting if more than 50% of the outstanding shares of that Fund are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy.

“Advisers Act” means the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended.

“Board” means the Board of Trustees or Board of Directors, as applicable.

“CEA” means the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended.

“CFTC” means the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

“Corporation” (if applicable) means the corporation listed on the cover page of this SAI.

“Directors” means the directors of the Corporation.

“Distributor” means the party that is responsible for the distribution or sale of the Fund’s shares. Franklin Distributors, LLC (“Franklin Distributors”) is the Fund’s distributor.

“FINRA” means the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

“Franklin Resources” means Franklin Resources, Inc.

“Fund” means the Fund or Funds listed on the cover of this SAI unless stated otherwise.

“Fundamental Investment Policy” means an investment policy of the Fund that may be changed only by a 1940 Act Vote. Only those policies expressly designated as such are fundamental investment policies. All other policies and restrictions may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval.

“Independent Director” or “Independent Trustee” (as applicable) means a Director of the Corporation or a Trustee of the Trust who is not an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Corporation or Trust (as applicable).

“IRAs” means Individual Retirement Accounts.

“IRS” means Internal Revenue Service.

 

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“Legg Mason” means Legg Mason, Inc.

“Legg Mason Funds” means the funds managed by Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC or an affiliate.

“Manager” or “LMPFA” means Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC.

“NAV” means net asset value.

“NRSROs” means nationally recognized (or non-U.S.) statistical rating organizations, including, but not limited to, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, a subsidiary of S&P Global Inc. (“S&P”).

“NYSE” means the New York Stock Exchange.

“Prospectus” means the prospectus of a Fund as referenced on the cover page of this SAI.

“SAI” means this Statement of Additional Information.

“SEC” means the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Service Agent” means each bank, broker, dealer, insurance company, investment adviser, financial consultant or adviser, mutual fund supermarket and any other financial intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to sell shares of the Fund.

“Subadviser” means Western Asset Management Company, LLC (“Western Asset”), Western Asset Management Company Limited, Western Asset Management Company Pte. Ltd. and Western Asset Management Company Ltd, as applicable, and as referred to in the Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI.

“Trust” (if applicable) means the trust listed on the cover page of this SAI.

“Trustees” means the trustees of the Trust.

 

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INVESTMENT POLICIES

Investment Objective and Strategies

The Fund is registered under the 1940 Act as an open-end management investment company. The Fund’s Prospectus discusses the Fund’s investment objective and strategies. The following is a summary of the principal investment strategies and certain additional strategies and investment limitations of the Fund and supplements the description of the Fund’s investment strategies in its Prospectus. Additional information regarding investment practices and risk factors with respect to the Fund may also be found below in the section entitled Investment Practices and Risk Factors.

Core Bond Fund

 

   

Investment Objective: To maximize total return, consistent with prudent investment management and liquidity needs, by investing to obtain the average duration specified in the Fund’s prospectus.

 

   

Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, including the amount of borrowing for investment purposes, if any, in debt and fixed income securities.

 

   

The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in the securities of non-U.S. issuers.

 

   

The Fund currently anticipates that it will generally only purchase debt securities that are rated Baa or BBB or above at time of purchase by at least one NRSRO, or unrated securities of comparable quality at time of purchase (as determined by the Subadviser). Currently, the only circumstance in which the Fund would purchase securities that are rated below Baa/BBB (commonly known as “junk bonds” or “high yield securities”) would be in connection with the purchase by the Fund of substantially all of the assets of, or a merger with, another registered investment company.

Core Plus Bond Fund

 

   

Investment Objective: To maximize total return, consistent with prudent investment management and liquidity needs, by investing to obtain the average duration specified in the Fund’s prospectus.

 

   

Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, including the amount of borrowing for investment purposes, if any, in debt and fixed income securities.

 

   

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar denominated securities

 

   

Up to 20% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in debt securities that are not rated in the Baa or BBB categories or above at time of purchases by one or more NRSROs or, if unrated, securities of comparable quality at the time of purchase (as determined by the Subadviser).

 

   

The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in the securities of non-U.S. issuers.

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

 

   

Investment Objective: To maximize total return, consistent with preservation of capital.

   

Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, including the amount of borrowing for investment purposes, if any, in inflation-indexed fixed income securities and at least 70% of its net assets in U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities.

   

Under normal market conditions, at time of purchase:

 

   o   

No more than 20% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in non-U.S. dollar denominated inflation-indexed securities

   o   

No more than 10% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in un-hedged non-U.S. dollar denominated securities

   o    No more than 20% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in a combination of securities rated below investment grade, emerging market securities and loan participations and assignments
   o    No more than 10% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in securities rated below investment grade
   o    No more than 10% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in emerging market securities
   o    No more than 10% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in loan participations and assignments.

The Fund may not change its policy to invest at least 80% of its net assets in the type of securities noted above (“Name Investments”) unless it provides shareholders with at least 60 days’ written notice of such change. For purposes of these limitations only, the Fund will consider an instrument, including a synthetic instrument, to be a Name Investment if, in the

 

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judgment of a Subadviser, it has economic characteristics similar to a Name Investment. For example, the Fund will consider an instrument, including a synthetic instrument, to be a fixed-income security if, in the judgment of a Subadviser, it has economic characteristics similar to fixed-income securities. Such instruments would include, but are not limited to, futures contracts and related options, mortgage-related securities, asset- backed securities, reverse repurchase agreements, forward roll transactions and cash equivalents. In addition, the Fund will consider repurchase agreements secured by obligations of the U.S. Government and its agencies and instrumentalities to be obligations of the U.S. Government and its agencies and instrumentalities for these purposes.

Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Investment Policies

General

The Fund has adopted the fundamental policies below for the protection of shareholders. Fundamental investment policies of the Fund may not be changed without a 1940 Act Vote.

If any percentage restriction described below (other than the limitation on borrowing) is complied with at the time of an investment, a later increase or decrease in the percentage resulting from a change in asset values or characteristics will not constitute a violation of such restriction, unless otherwise noted below. An investment will be deemed to have been made at the time the Fund enters into a binding commitment to complete the investment. The Fund will monitor the level of borrowing in its portfolio and will make necessary adjustments to maintain the required asset coverage.

Fundamental Investment Policies

The Fund’s fundamental investment policies are as follows:

Core Bond Fund may not:

 

  (1)

Invest more than 5% of its total assets (taken at market value) in securities of any one issuer, or buy 10% or more of all the securities of any one issuer, except that up to 25% of the Fund’s total assets may be invested without regard to this limitation, and provided that this limitation does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities.

 

  (2)

Invest 25% or more of its total assets (taken at market value) in any one industry, provided that this limitation does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or repurchase agreements thereon; and provided further that, for purposes of this limitation, branches of foreign banks are considered U.S. banks if they are subject to substantially the same regulation as domestic banks, and foreign branches of U.S. banks are considered U.S. banks if the domestic parent would be unconditionally liable in the event that the foreign branch failed to pay on the instruments for any reason.

 

  (3)

Underwrite securities of other issuers, except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, the Fund may be deemed an underwriter under federal securities laws.

 

  (4)

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

 

  (5)

Invest in oil, gas or mineral-related programs or leases, provided that the Fund may invest in securities issued by companies that engage in such activities.

In addition, Core Bond Fund’s investment objective is fundamental.

Core Bond Fund may:

 

  (6)

Purchase or sell commodities, commodity contracts, futures contracts, options, and forward contracts to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules regulations or orders may be amended from time to time.

 

  (7)

Lend or borrow money or issue senior securities to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules, regulations or orders may be amended from time to time.

 

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Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund may (except as noted below):

 

  (1)

Lend or borrow money or issue senior securities to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules, regulations or orders may be amended from time to time.

 

  (2)

Not concentrate investments in a particular industry or group of industries as concentration is defined under the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules, regulations or orders may be amended from time to time. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities will not be considered to represent an industry.

 

  (3)

Underwrite securities to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules, regulations or orders may be amended from time to time.

 

  (4)

Purchase or sell commodities, commodities contracts, futures contracts, options, forward contracts or real estate to the fullest extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC, as such statute, rules, regulations or orders may be amended from time to time.

Additional Information

With respect to fundamental investment limitations numbered (1) through (4) of Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund, and fundamental investment limitations numbered (6) and (7) of Core Bond Fund, the fundamental investment limitations set forth above limit the Fund’s ability to engage in certain investment practices and purchase securities or other instruments to the extent permitted by, or consistent with, the 1940 Act. Relevant limitations of the 1940 Act are described below. These limitations are based either on the 1940 Act itself, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC. In addition, interpretations and guidance provided by the SEC staff may be taken into account, where deemed appropriate by the Fund, to determine if an investment practice or the purchase of securities or other instruments is permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or applicable orders of the SEC. As such, these limitations of the 1940 Act will change as the statute, rules, regulations or orders (or, if applicable, interpretations) change, and no shareholder vote will be required or sought for such changes.

Fundamental Investment Restriction (1) for Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond and (7) for Core Bond Fund). Under the 1940 Act, a fund may only borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets less liabilities (other than liabilities representing senior securities). Borrowing by the Fund allows it to leverage its portfolio, which exposes it to certain risks. Leveraging increases the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of portfolio securities on the Fund’s net asset value, and money borrowed will be subject to interest costs (which may include commitment fees and/or the cost of maintaining minimum average balances) which may or may not exceed the return from the securities purchased with borrowed funds. The Fund may use borrowed money for any purpose permitted by the 1940 Act.

The 1940 Act restricts the ability of any mutual fund to lend. Under the 1940 Act, a fund may only make loans if expressly permitted to do so by a fund’s investment policies, and a fund may not make loans to persons who control or are under common control with the fund. Thus, the 1940 Act effectively prohibits the Fund from making loans to certain persons when conflicts of interest or undue influence are most likely present. The Fund may, however, make other loans which could expose shareholders to additional risks, such as the failure of the other party to repay the loan. The Fund retains the flexibility to make loans to the extent permitted by its investment policies.

Under the 1940 Act, a “senior security” does not include any promissory note or evidence of indebtedness where such loan is for temporary purposes only and in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of the total assets of the issuer at the time the loan is made. A loan is presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within sixty days and is not extended or renewed.

Fundamental Investment Restriction (2). “Concentration” is interpreted under the 1940 Act to mean investment of 25% or more of a fund’s total assets in a single industry. If the Fund were to “concentrate” its investments in a particular industry, investors would be exposed to greater risks because the Fund’s performance would be largely dependent on that industry’s performance. The Fund has not reserved the right to concentrate in any industry. For purposes of this limitation, the Fund does not consider certificates of deposit or banker’s acceptances issued by domestic branches of U.S. or non-U.S. banks to be in a single industry. If, in the future, these instruments are considered to be in the same industry, the Fund reserves the freedom of

 

5


action to concentrate in such an industry. The Fund’s industry concentration policy does not preclude it from focusing investments in issuers in a group of related industrial sectors (such as different types of technology issuers).

Fundamental Investment Restriction (3). The 1940 Act prohibits a diversified mutual fund from underwriting securities in excess of 25% of its total assets.

Fundamental Investment Restriction (4) for Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond and (6) for Core Bond Fund. This restriction would permit investment in commodities, commodities contracts (e.g., futures contracts or related options), options, forward contracts or real estate to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. However, it is unlikely that the Fund would make such investments, other than the use of futures contracts or related options, options, forward contracts and certain real estate-related instruments as explained in the Prospectus and this SAI. The Fund, however, may consider using these investment techniques in the future. Commodities, as opposed to commodity futures, represent the actual underlying bulk goods, such as grains, metals and foodstuffs. Real estate-related instruments include real estate investment trusts, commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, and real estate financings, and such instruments are generally sensitive to factors such as changes in real estate values and property taxes, interest rates, cash flow of underlying real estate assets, overbuilding, and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer.

Diversification

The Fund is currently classified as a diversified fund under the 1940 Act. This means that the Fund may not purchase securities of an issuer (other than obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities) if, with respect to 75% of its total assets, (a) more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in securities of that issuer or (b) the Fund would hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of that issuer. With respect to the remaining 25% of its total assets, the Fund can invest more than 5% of its assets in one issuer. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund cannot change its classification from diversified to non-diversified without shareholder approval.

Non-Fundamental Investment Policies

The Fund currently observes the following non-fundamental investment policy:

 

 

If at any time another registered open-end investment company that is part of the same group of investment companies as the Fund invests in the Fund in reliance upon the provisions of subparagraph (G) of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, the Fund will not invest in other registered open-end investment companies and registered unit investment trusts in reliance upon the provisions of subparagraphs (G) or (F) of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.

Commodity Exchange Act Regulation- Exclusion from Commodity Pool Operator Definition

The Fund is operated by persons who have claimed an exclusion, granted to operators of registered investment companies like the Fund, from registration as a “commodity pool operator” with respect to the Fund under the CEA and, therefore are not subject to registration or regulation with respect to the Fund under the CEA. As a result, the Fund is limited in its ability to trade instruments subject to the CFTC’s jurisdiction, including commodity futures (which include futures on broad-based securities indexes, interest rate futures and currency futures), options on commodity futures, and certain swaps or other investments, either directly or indirectly through investments in other investment vehicles (collectively, “Commodity Interests”).

Under this exclusion, the Fund must satisfy one of the following two trading limitations whenever it establishes a new Commodity Interest position: (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Fund’s Commodity Interest positions does not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such investments); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s Commodity Interests, determined at the time the most recent position was established, does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). The Fund is not required to consider its exposure to such instruments if they are held for “bona fide hedging” purposes, as such term is defined in the rules of the CFTC. In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, the Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the markets for Commodity Interests.

If the Fund’s operators were to lose their ability to claim this exclusion with respect to the Fund, such persons would be required to comply with certain CFTC rules regarding commodity pools that could impose additional regulatory requirements and compliance obligations.

 

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INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND RISK FACTORS

In addition to the investment strategies and the risks described in the Fund’s Prospectus and in this SAI under Investment Objective and Strategies, the Fund may employ other investment practices and may be subject to other risks, which are described below. The Fund may engage in the practices described below to the extent consistent with its investment objectives, strategies, policies and restrictions. However, as with any investment or investment technique, even when the Fund’s Prospectus or this discussion indicates that the Fund may engage in an activity, the Fund may not actually do so for a variety of reasons. In addition, new types of instruments and other securities may be developed and marketed from time to time. Consistent with its investment limitations, the Fund expects to invest in those new types of securities and instruments that its portfolio manager believes may assist the Fund in achieving its investment objective.

This discussion is not intended to limit the Fund’s investment flexibility, unless such a limitation is expressly stated, and therefore will be construed by the Fund as broadly as possible. Statements concerning what the Fund may do are not intended to limit any other activity.

Alternative Investment Strategies and Temporary Defensive Investments

At times the Fund’s portfolio manager may judge that conditions in the securities markets make pursuing the Fund’s typical investment strategy inconsistent with the best interest of its shareholders. At such times, the portfolio manager may temporarily use alternative strategies, primarily designed to reduce fluctuations in the value of the Fund’s assets. In implementing these defensive strategies, the Fund may invest without limit in securities that the portfolio manager believes present less risk to the Fund, including equity securities, debt and fixed income securities, preferred stocks, U.S. government and agency obligations, cash or money market instruments, certificates of deposit, demand and time deposits, bankers’ acceptance or other securities the portfolio manager considers consistent with such defensive strategies, such as, but not limited to, options or futures. During periods in which such strategies are used, the duration of the Fund may diverge from the duration range for the Fund disclosed in its Prospectus (if applicable). It is impossible to predict when, or for how long, the Fund will use these alternative strategies. As a result of using these alternative strategies, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective. Additionally, although the portfolio manager has the ability to take defensive positions, the portfolio manager may choose not to do so for a variety of reasons, even during volatile market conditions.

Bank Obligations

The Fund may invest in all types of bank obligations, including certificates of deposit (“CDs”), time deposits and bankers’ acceptances. CDs are short-term negotiable obligations of commercial banks. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers usually in connection with international transactions.

U.S. commercial banks organized under federal law are supervised and examined by the Comptroller of the Currency and are required to be members of the Federal Reserve System and to be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”). U.S. banks organized under state law are supervised and examined by state banking authorities, but are members of the Federal Reserve System only if they elect to join. Most state banks are insured by the FDIC (although such insurance may not be of material benefit to the Fund, depending upon the principal amount of CDs of each bank held by the Fund) and are subject to federal examination and to a substantial body of federal law and regulation. As a result of federal and state laws and regulations, U.S. branches of U.S. banks are, among other things, generally required to maintain specified levels of reserves, and are subject to other supervision and regulation designed to promote financial soundness. Banks may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors, such as interest rate changes and adverse developments in the market for real estate. Fiscal and monetary policy and general economic cycles can affect the availability and cost of funds, loan demand and asset quality and thereby impact the earnings and financial conditions of banks.

Obligations of foreign branches of U.S. banks, such as CDs and time deposits, may be general obligations of the parent bank in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and governmental regulation. Such obligations are subject to different risks than are those of U.S. banks or U.S. branches of foreign banks. These risks relate to foreign economic and political developments, foreign governmental restrictions that may adversely affect payment of principal and interest on the obligations, foreign exchange controls and foreign withholding and other taxes on interest income. Foreign branches of U.S. banks and foreign branches of foreign banks are not necessarily subject to the same or similar regulatory

 

7


requirements that apply to U.S. banks, such as mandatory reserve requirements, loan limitations and accounting, auditing and financial recordkeeping requirements. In addition, less information may be publicly available about a foreign branch of a U.S. bank or about a foreign bank than about a U.S. bank.

Obligations of U.S. branches of foreign banks may be general obligations of the parent bank, in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and by federal and state regulation as well as governmental action in the country in which the foreign bank has its head office. A U.S. branch of a foreign bank with assets in excess of $1 billion may or may not be subject to reserve requirements imposed by the Federal Reserve System or by the state in which the branch is located if the branch is licensed in that state. In addition, branches licensed by the Comptroller of the Currency and branches licensed by certain states (“State Branches”) may or may not be required to: (a) pledge to the regulator, by depositing assets with a designated bank within the state; and (b) maintain assets within the state in an amount equal to a specified percentage of the aggregate amount of liabilities of the foreign bank payable at or through all of its agencies or branches within the state. The deposits of State Branches may not necessarily be insured by the FDIC. In addition, there may be less publicly available information about a U.S. branch of a foreign bank than about a U.S. bank.

Borrowings

The Fund may engage in borrowing transactions as a means of raising cash to satisfy redemption requests, for other temporary or emergency purposes or, to the extent permitted by its investment policies, to raise additional cash to be invested by the Fund in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the Fund’s investment returns. Reverse repurchase agreements may be considered to be a type of borrowing.

When the Fund invests borrowing proceeds in other securities, the Fund will be at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested. Like other leveraging risks, this makes the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increases the Fund’s overall investment exposure. In addition, if the Fund’s return on its investment of the borrowing proceeds does not equal or exceed the interest that the Fund is obligated to pay under the terms of a borrowing, engaging in these transactions will lower the Fund’s return.

The Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its borrowing obligations. Interest on any borrowings will be an expense to the Fund and will reduce the value of the Fund’s shares. The Fund may borrow on a secured or on an unsecured basis. If the Fund enters into a secured borrowing arrangement, a portion of the Fund’s assets will be used as collateral. During the term of the borrowing, the Fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of these assets in addition to any securities purchased with the proceeds of the loan. In addition, the Fund may be unable to sell the collateral at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, which could result in lower returns. The Fund would also be subject to the risk that the lender may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent, or otherwise default on its obligations to return the collateral to the Fund. In the event of a default by the lender, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in the Fund’s exercising its rights with respect to the collateral or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.

The 1940 Act requires the Fund to maintain an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings, provided that in the event that the Fund’s asset coverage falls below 300%, the Fund is required to reduce the amount of its borrowings so that it meets the 300% asset coverage threshold within three days (not including Sundays and holidays). Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the Fund’s total assets, minus liabilities other than borrowings and other senior securities, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Although complying with this requirement would have the effect of limiting the amount that the Fund may borrow, it does not otherwise mitigate the risks of entering into borrowing transactions.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs”), Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLOs”) and Collateralized Bond Obligations (“CBOs”)

The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured securities. CDOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust or other special purpose entity (“SPE”) which is typically backed by a diversified pool of fixed income securities (which may include high risk, below investment grade securities). A CLO is a trust or other SPE that is typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and non-U.S. senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Although certain CDOs may receive credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure, over-collateralization or bond

 

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insurance, such enhancement may not always be present, and may fail to protect the Fund against the risk of loss on default of the collateral. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses, which are in addition to those of the Fund.

For both CBOs and CLOs, the cashflows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which bears the first loss from defaults from the bonds or loans in the SPE and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default (though such protection is not complete). Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO or CLO typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and may be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as investor aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class. Interest on certain tranches of a CDO may be paid in kind (paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments.

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs, allowing a CDO to qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed income securities discussed elsewhere in this SAI and the Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and credit risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the collateral may decline in value or default or its credit rating may be downgraded, if rated by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of CDOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results; and (v) the CDO’s manager may perform poorly.

Commercial Paper

Commercial paper (including variable amount master demand notes and funding agreements) consists of short-term, unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations, partnerships, trusts and other entities to finance short-term credit needs.

Contingent Convertible Securities (“CoCos”)

CoCos are a form of hybrid debt security, typically issued by banking institutions, and are intended to either convert into equity or have their principal written down upon the occurrence of certain “triggers.” The triggers are generally linked to regulatory capital requirements or regulatory actions calling into question the issuing banking institution’s continued viability as a going-concern. CoCos’ unique equity conversion or principal write-down features are tailored to the issuing banking institution and its regulatory requirements. Some additional risks associated with CoCos include, but are not limited to:

Loss absorption risk. CoCos have fully discretionary coupons. This means coupons can potentially be cancelled or adjusted downward to below the original par value upon the occurrence of a trigger at the banking institution’s discretion or at the request of the relevant regulatory authority in order to help the bank absorb losses. A write down of the par value would occur automatically and would not entitle the holders to seek bankruptcy of the company. In addition, an automatic write-down could result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment is based on the security’s par value. Such securities may, but are not required to, provide for circumstances under which the liquidation value may be adjusted back up to par, such as an improvement in capitalization and/or earnings. Similarly, if a CoCo provides for a mandatory conversion of the security into the issuer’s equity securities in the event of certain circumstances, the Fund could experience a reduced income rate (even to zero) if such conversion event occurs and the issuer’s equity securities pay little or no dividend.

Subordination risk. CoCos will, in the majority of circumstances, be issued in the form of subordinated debt instruments in order to provide the appropriate regulatory capital treatment prior to a conversion. Accordingly, in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of an issuer prior to a conversion having occurred, the rights and claims of the holders of the CoCos, such as the Fund, against the issuer in respect of or arising under the terms of the CoCos will generally rank junior to the claims of all holders of unsubordinated obligations of the issuer. In addition, if the CoCos are converted into the issuer’s underlying equity securities following a conversion event, each holder will be subordinated due to their conversion from being the holder of a debt instrument to being the holder of an equity instrument, hence worsening the holder’s standing in a bankruptcy. In addition,

 

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some CoCos also provide for an automatic write-down if the price of the common stock is below the conversion price on the conversion date.

Market risk. The value of CoCos is unpredictable and will be influenced by many factors including, without limitation: (i) the creditworthiness of the issuer and/or fluctuations in such issuer’s applicable capital ratios; (ii) supply and demand for the CoCos; (iii) general market conditions and available liquidity; and (iv) economic, financial and political events that affect the issuer, its particular market or the financial markets in general. It is often difficult to predict when, if at all, an automatic write-down or conversion event will occur, but any indication that an automatic write-down or conversion event may occur can be expected to have a material adverse effect on the market price of affected CoCos. Accordingly, the trading behavior of CoCos may not follow the trading behavior of other types of debt and preferred securities. CoCos are a relatively new form of security and the full effects of an automatic write-down or conversion event have not been experienced broadly in the marketplace. The occurrence of an automatic write-down or conversion event may be unpredictable and the potential effects of such event on the Fund’s yield, NAV and/or market price may be adverse.

Convertible Securities

Convertible securities are fixed income securities (usually debt or preferred stock) that may be converted or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion or exchange, convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stocks of the same or similar issuers, but lower than the yield of nonconvertible debt. However, there can be no assurance of current income because the issuers of the convertible securities may default on their obligations. Convertible securities are usually subordinated to comparable nonconvertible debt or preferred stock, but rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure.

The value of a convertible security is generally related to (1) its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege and/or (2) its worth, at market value, if converted or exchanged into the underlying common stock. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument, which may be less than the ultimate conversion or exchange value.

Convertible securities are subject to stock market and other risks associated with equity securities, as well as credit, interest rate and other risks associated with fixed income securities. As the market price of the equity security underlying a convertible security falls, the convertible security tends to trade on the basis of its yield and other fixed income characteristics. As the market price of such equity security rises, the convertible security tends to trade on the basis of its equity conversion features. Investments in convertible securities generally entail less risk than investments in common stock of the same issuer.

Synthetic Convertible Securities

A synthetic convertible security is comprised of two distinct securities that together resemble convertible securities in certain respects. Synthetic convertible securities are created by combining non-convertible bonds or preferred shares with common stocks, warrants or stock call options. The options that will form elements of synthetic convertible securities will be listed on a securities exchange. The two components of a synthetic convertible security, which will be issued with respect to the same entity, generally are not offered as a unit, and may be purchased and sold by the Fund at different times. Synthetic convertible securities differ from convertible securities in certain respects, including that each component of a synthetic convertible security has a separate market value and responds differently to market fluctuations. Investing in synthetic convertible securities involves the risk normally involved in holding the securities comprising the synthetic convertible security.

Cybersecurity Risk

With the increased use of technologies such as mobile devices and Web-based or “cloud” applications, and the dependence on the Internet and computer systems to conduct business, the Fund is susceptible to operational, information security and related risks. In general, cybersecurity incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events (arising from external or internal sources) that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption, physical damage to a computer or network system or lose operational capacity. Cybersecurity attacks include, but are not limited to,

 

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infection by malicious software, such as malware or computer viruses or gaining unauthorized access to digital systems, networks or devices that are used to service the Fund’s operations (e.g., through “hacking,” “phishing” or malicious software coding) or other means for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cybersecurity attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on the Fund’s websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Recently, geopolitical tensions may have increased the scale and sophistication of deliberate cybersecurity attacks, particularly those from nation-states or from entities with nation-state backing. In addition, authorized persons could inadvertently or intentionally release confidential or proprietary information stored on the Fund’s systems.

Cybersecurity incidents affecting the Fund’s Manager, the Subadviser, and other service providers to the Fund or its shareholders (including, but not limited to, Fund accountants, custodians, sub-custodians, transfer agents and financial intermediaries) have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to both the Fund and its shareholders, interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, impediments to trading, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions (including fulfillment of Fund share purchases and redemptions), violations of applicable privacy and other laws (including the release of private shareholder information) and attendant breach notification and credit monitoring costs, regulatory fines, penalties, litigation costs, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, forensic investigation and remediation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. Similar adverse consequences could result from cybersecurity incidents affecting issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, counterparties with which the Fund engages in transactions, governmental and other regulatory authorities, exchange and other financial market operators, banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies and other financial institutions (including financial intermediaries and other service providers) and other parties. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to safeguard against and reduce the risk of any cybersecurity incidents in the future. In addition to administrative, technological and procedural safeguards, the Fund’s Manager and the Subadviser have established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent or reduce the impact of, such cybersecurity incidents. However, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, as well as the rapid development of new threats. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by its service providers or any other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

Because technology is frequently changing, new ways to carry out cyber attacks are always developing. Therefore, there is a chance that some risks have not been identified or prepared for, or that an attack may not be detected, which puts limitations on the Fund’s ability to plan for or respond to a cyber attack. Like other funds and business enterprises, the Fund, the Manager and the Subadviser and their service providers are subject to the risk of cyber incidents occurring from time to time.

Debt and Fixed Income Securities

The Fund may invest in a variety of debt and fixed income securities, which may be issued by governmental, corporate or other issuers. Debt securities may pay fixed, floating or variable rates of interest or interest at a rate contingent upon some other factor. Variable rate securities reset at specified intervals, while floating rate securities reset whenever there is a change in a specified index rate. In most cases, these reset provisions reduce the effect of market interest rates on the value of the security. However, some securities do not track the underlying index directly, but reset based on formulas that can produce an effect similar to leveraging; others may provide for interest payments that vary inversely with market rates. The market prices of these securities may fluctuate significantly when interest rates change.

These securities share principal risks. For example, the level of interest income generated by the Fund’s fixed income investments may decline due to a decrease in market interest rates. Thus, when fixed income securities mature or are sold, they may be replaced by lower-yielding investments. Also, their values fluctuate with changes in interest rates. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of the Fund’s fixed income investments. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of the Fund’s fixed income investments will generally decline. However, a change in interest rates will not have the same impact on all fixed rate securities. For example, the magnitude of these fluctuations will generally be greater when the Fund’s duration or average maturity is longer. In addition, certain fixed income securities are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that an issuer of securities will be unable to pay principal and interest when due, or that the value of the security will suffer because investors believe the issuer is unable to pay. Recently, there have been inflationary price movements. As such, fixed income securities markets may experience heightened levels of interest rate volatility and liquidity risk.

 

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Changing Interest Rates. In a low or negative interest rate environment, debt securities may trade at, or be issued with, negative yields, which means the purchaser of the security may receive at maturity less than the total amount invested. To the extent the Fund holds a negatively-yielding debt security, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment. Cash positions may also subject the Fund to increased counterparty risk to the Fund’s bank. Debt market conditions are highly unpredictable and some parts of the market are subject to dislocations. In a low or negative interest rate environment, some investors may seek to reallocate assets to other income-producing assets. This may cause the price of such higher yielding instruments to rise, could further reduce the value of instruments with a negative yield, and may limit the Fund’s ability to locate fixed income instruments containing the desired risk/return profile. In the past, the U.S. government and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to stabilize markets by, among other things, reducing interest rates. In recent years, the U.S. government began implementing increases to the federal funds interest rate and there may be further rate increases. As interest rates rise, there is risk that rates across the financial system also may rise. To the extent rates increase substantially and/or rapidly, the Fund may be subject to significant losses. Changing interest rates could have unpredictable effects on the markets and may expose fixed income markets to heightened volatility, increased redemptions, and potential illiquidity.

Fixed Income Securities Ratings. Securities rated in the fourth highest ratings category by a NRSRO, such as those rated BBB by S&P, or Baa by Moody’s, and unrated securities of comparable quality, are generally regarded as having adequate capacity to pay interest and repay principal but may have some speculative characteristics. Securities rated below the fourth highest ratings category by a NRSRO, including those rated below Baa by Moody’s or BBB by S&P, and unrated securities of comparable quality, are generally considered below “investment grade,” and may have speculative characteristics, including a greater possibility of default or bankruptcy of the issuers of such securities, market price volatility based upon interest rate sensitivity, questionable creditworthiness and relative liquidity of the secondary trading market. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity for lower rated securities to make principal and interest payments, including a greater possibility of default or bankruptcy of the issuer, than is the case for high rated securities. Appendix B to this SAI contains further information concerning the rating categories of NRSROs and their significance.

Derivatives — Generally

A derivative is a financial instrument that has a value based on, or derived from, the value of one or more underlying reference instruments or measures of value or interest rates (“underlying instruments”), such as a security, a commodity, a currency, an index, an interest rate or a currency exchange rate. A derivative can also have a value based on the likelihood that an event will or will not occur. Derivatives include futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps.

The Fund may use derivatives for any purpose, including but not limited to, to attempt to enhance income, yield or return, as a substitute for investing directly in a security or asset, or as a hedging technique in an attempt to manage risk in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund may choose not to make use of derivatives for a variety of reasons, and no assurance can be given that any derivatives strategy employed will be successful. The Fund’s use of derivative instruments may be limited from time to time by applicable law, availability or by policies adopted by the Board or Manager.

The Fund may utilize multiple derivative instruments and combinations of derivative instruments to seek to adjust the risk and return characteristics of its overall position. Combined positions will typically contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. It is possible that the combined position will not achieve its intended goal and will instead increase losses or risk to the Fund. Because combined positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.

The Fund may enter into derivatives with standardized terms that have no or few special or unusual components, which are generally traded on an exchange, as well as derivatives with more complex features, singly or in combination. Non-standardized derivatives are generally traded over the counter (“OTC”). OTC derivatives may be standardized or have customized features and may have limited or no liquidity. The Fund’s derivatives contracts may be centrally cleared or settled bilaterally directly with a counterparty. The Fund’s derivatives contracts may be cash settled or physically settled.

In addition to the instruments and strategies discussed in this section, additional opportunities in connection with derivatives and other similar or related techniques may become available to the Fund as a result of the development of new techniques, the development of new derivative instruments or a regulatory authority broadening the range of permitted transactions. The Fund may utilize these opportunities and techniques to the extent that they are consistent with the Fund’s

 

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investment objectives and permitted by its investment limitations and applicable regulatory authorities. These opportunities and techniques may involve risks different from or in addition to those summarized herein.

 

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Risks of Derivatives Generally. The use of derivatives involves special considerations and risks, certain of which are summarized below, and may result in losses to the Fund. In general, derivatives may increase the volatility of the Fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risk or exposure assumed. Even a small investment in derivatives may magnify or otherwise increase investment losses to the Fund.

 

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Market risk. Derivatives can be complex, and their success depends in part upon the portfolio manager’s ability to forecast correctly future market or other trends or occurrences or other financial or economic factors or the value of the underlying instrument. Even if the portfolio manager’s forecasts are correct, other factors may cause distortions or dislocations in the markets that result in losses or otherwise unsuccessful transactions. Derivatives may behave in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal or volatile market conditions. The market value of the derivative itself or the market value of underlying instruments may change in a way that is adverse to the Fund’s interest. There is no assurance that the use of derivatives will be advantageous to the Fund or that the portfolio manager will use derivatives to hedge at an appropriate time.

 

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Illiquidity risk. The Fund’s ability to close out or unwind a derivative prior to expiration or maturity depends on the existence of a liquid market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the other party to the transaction (the “counterparty”) to enter into a transaction closing out the position. If there is no market or the Fund is not successful in its negotiations, the Fund may not be able to sell or unwind the derivative position at an advantageous or anticipated time or price. This may also be the case if the counterparty becomes insolvent. The Fund may be required to make delivery of portfolio securities or other underlying instruments in order to settle a position or to sell portfolio securities or assets at a disadvantageous time or price in order to obtain cash to settle the position. While a position remains open, the Fund continues to be subject to investment risk on a derivative. The Fund may or may not be able to take other actions or enter into other transactions, including hedging transactions, to limit or reduce its exposure to the derivative. Illiquidity risk may be enhanced if a derivative transaction is particularly large. Certain derivatives, including certain OTC options and swaps, may be considered illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitation on illiquid investments.

 

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Leverage risk. Certain derivative transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, meaning that the Fund can obtain significant investment exposure in return for meeting a relatively small margin or other investment requirement. An adverse change in the value of an underlying instrument can result in losses substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. When the Fund engages in transactions that have a leveraging effect, the value of the Fund is likely to be more volatile and certain other risks also are likely to be compounded. This is because leverage generally magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of an investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

 

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Margin risk. Certain derivatives require the Fund to make initial margin payments, a form of security deposit intended to protect against nonperformance of the derivative contract. The Fund may have to post additional margin (known as “variation margin”) if the value of the derivative position changes in a manner adverse to the Fund. Derivatives may be difficult to value, which may result in increased payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to the Fund. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet additional margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a disadvantageous time.

 

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Speculation risk. Derivatives used for non-hedging purposes may result in losses which are not offset by increases in the value of portfolio holdings or declines in the cost of securities or other assets to be acquired. In the event that the Fund uses a derivative as an alternative to purchasing or selling other investments or in order to obtain desired exposure to an index or market, the Fund will be exposed to the same risks as are incurred in purchasing or selling the other investments directly, as well as the risks of the derivative transaction itself, such as counterparty risk.

 

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Counterparty risk. Derivatives involve the risk of loss resulting from the actual or potential insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty or the failure by the counterparty to make required payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the contract. In the event of default by a counterparty (or its affiliates), the Fund may have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, which may be limited by applicable law in the case of the counterparty’s (or its affiliates’) bankruptcy. The Fund may not be able to recover amounts owed to it by an insolvent counterparty.

 

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Operational risk. There may be incomplete or erroneous documentation or inadequate collateral or margin, or transactions may fail to settle. The Fund may have only contractual remedies in the event of a counterparty default, and there may be delays, costs or disagreements as to the meaning of contractual terms and litigation in enforcing those remedies.

 

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OTC risk. Derivative transactions that are traded OTC, such as options, swaps, forward contracts, and options on foreign currencies, are entered into directly with counterparties or financial institutions acting as market makers, rather than being traded on exchanges or centrally cleared. Because OTC derivatives and other transactions are traded between counterparties based on contractual relationships, the Fund is subject to increased risk that its counterparty will not perform its obligations under the related contracts. Although the Fund intends to enter into transactions only with counterparties which the Fund believes to be creditworthy, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will not default and that the Fund will not sustain a loss on a transaction as a result. Information available on counterparty creditworthiness may be incomplete or outdated, thus reducing the ability to anticipate counterparty defaults. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under an OTC derivative in the event of the default or bankruptcy of the counterparty to the OTC derivative. When a counterparty’s obligations are not fully secured by collateral, then the Fund is essentially an unsecured creditor of the counterparty. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that a counterparty will be able to meet its obligations pursuant to such contracts or that, in the event of default, the Fund will succeed in enforcing contractual remedies. Credit/counterparty risk still exists even if a counterparty’s obligations are secured by collateral because the Fund’s interest in collateral may not be perfected or additional collateral may not be promptly posted as required. Credit/counterparty risk also may be more pronounced if a counterparty’s obligations exceed the amount of collateral held by the Fund (if any), the Fund is unable to exercise its interest in collateral upon default by the counterparty, or the termination value of the instrument varies significantly from the marked-to-market value of the instrument.

 

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Non-U.S. derivatives risk. Derivative transactions may be conducted OTC outside of the United States or traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the price of, foreign securities or currencies. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (1) other foreign political, legal and economic factors, (2) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (3) delays in the Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (4) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms, procedures, margin requirements, fees, taxes or other charges than in the United States and (5) lesser trading volume. Counterparty risk and many of the risks of OTC derivatives transactions are also applicable to derivative transactions conducted outside the United States.

 

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Currency derivatives risk. Currency related transactions may be negatively affected by factors such as government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations. Exchange rates may be influenced by factors extrinsic to a country’s economy. Also, there is no systematic reporting of last sale information with respect to foreign currencies. As a result, the information on which trading in currency derivatives is based may not be as complete as, and may be delayed beyond, comparable data for other types of transactions.

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Turnover risk. Use of derivatives involves transaction costs, which may be significant. The Fund may be required to sell or purchase investments in connection with derivative transactions, potentially increasing the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and transaction costs. Use of derivatives also may increase the amount of taxable income to shareholders.

Risks Associated with Hedging with Derivatives. If the portfolio manager uses a hedging strategy at the wrong time or judges market conditions incorrectly, hedging strategies may reduce the Fund’s return. Successful use of derivatives to hedge positions depends on the correlation between the price of the derivative and the price of the hedged asset.

The Fund may attempt to protect against declines in the value of the Fund’s portfolio assets by entering into a variety of derivatives transactions, including selling futures contracts, entering into swaps or purchasing puts on indices or futures contracts (short hedging). Short hedging involves the risk that the prices of the futures contracts or the value of the swap or the applicable index will correlate imperfectly with price movements in the Fund’s assets. If the value of the assets held in the Fund’s portfolio declines while the Fund has used derivative instruments in a short hedge, and the prices referenced in the short hedge do not also decline, the value of the Fund’s assets would decline, and the short hedge would not hedge or mitigate the loss in the value of the assets. With respect to a derivative transaction based on an index, the risk of imperfect correlation increases as the composition of the Fund’s portfolio diverges from the assets included in the applicable index. To compensate for the imperfect correlation of movements in the price of the portfolio securities being hedged and movements in the price of the hedging instruments, the Fund may use derivative instruments in a greater dollar amount than the dollar amount of portfolio assets being hedged. It might do so if the historical volatility of the prices of the portfolio assets being hedged is more than the historical volatility of the applicable index.

 

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If the Fund has used derivatives to hedge or otherwise reduce the Fund’s risk exposure to a particular position and then disposes of that position at a time at which it cannot also settle, terminate or close out the corresponding hedge position, this may create short investment exposure. Certain “short” derivative positions involve investment leverage, and the amount of the Fund’s potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

The Fund can use derivative instruments to establish a position in the market as a temporary substitute for the purchase of individual securities or other assets (long hedging) by buying futures contracts and/or calls on such futures contracts, indices or on securities or other assets, or entering into swaps. It is possible that when the Fund does so the market might decline. If the Fund then decides not to invest in the assets because of concerns that the market might decline further or for other reasons, the Fund will realize a loss on the hedge position that is not offset by a reduction in the price of the asset the Fund had intended to purchase.

Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives. The regulation of derivatives transactions and funds that engage in such transactions is an evolving area of law and is subject to modification by government, self-regulatory organization and judicial action. Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which became effective August 19, 2022, governs the use of derivative investments and certain financing transactions (e.g. reverse repurchase agreements) by registered investment companies. Among other things, Rule 18f-4 requires funds that invest in derivative instruments beyond a specified limited amount to apply a value-at-risk based limit to their use of certain derivative instruments and financing transactions and to adopt and implement a derivatives risk management program. A fund that uses derivative instruments in a limited amount is not subject to the full requirements of Rule 18f-4. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 could restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in certain derivatives transactions and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions, which could adversely affect the value or performance of the Fund.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) has caused broad changes to the OTC derivatives market and granted significant authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives and market participants. Pursuant to such authority, rules have been enacted that currently require clearing of many OTC derivatives transactions and may require clearing of additional OTC derivatives transactions in the future and that impose minimum margin and capital requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives transactions. Similar regulations have been or are being adopted in other jurisdictions around the world. The implementation of the clearing requirement has increased the costs of derivatives transactions since investors have to pay fees to clearing members and are typically required to post more margin for cleared derivatives than had historically been the case. While the new rules and regulations and central clearing of some derivatives transactions are designed to reduce systemic risk (i.e., the risk that the interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause them to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that they will achieve that result, and mandatory clearing of derivatives may expose the Fund to new kinds of costs and risks.

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

Foreign Currency Instruments and Hedging Strategies

The Fund may use options and futures contracts on foreign currencies and forward currency contracts and currency swap agreements (collectively, “Currency Instruments”), deliverable and non-deliverable, to attempt to hedge against movements in the values of the foreign currencies in which the Fund’s securities are denominated or to attempt to enhance the Fund’s return or yield. The Fund may also use such investments to attempt to establish a short position or to gain exposure to a market that would be more costly or difficult to access with other types of investments, such as bonds or currency. The Fund may also engage in foreign currency transactions on a spot (cash) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market at the time of the transaction. The Fund may determine not to hedge, and the Fund may be completely unhedged at any point in time. In cases when a particular currency is difficult to hedge or difficult to hedge against the U.S. dollar, the Fund may seek to hedge against price movements in that currency by entering into transactions using Currency Instruments on another currency or a basket of

 

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currencies, the value of which the portfolio manager believes will have a high degree of positive correlation to the value of the currency being hedged. The risk that movements in the price of the Currency Instrument will not correlate perfectly with movements in the price of the currency subject to the hedging transaction is magnified when this strategy is used.

Currency Instruments Risks. In addition to the risks found under “Derivatives – Risks of Derivatives Generally,” Currency Instruments are subject to the following risks:

The value of Currency Instruments depends on the value of the underlying foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market might involve substantially larger amounts than those involved in the Fund’s use of such Currency Instruments, the Fund could be disadvantaged by having to deal in the odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots. There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies or any regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information generally is representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus might not reflect odd-lot transactions where rates might be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, round-the-clock market. To the extent the U.S. options or futures markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements might take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the U.S. markets for the Currency Instruments until they reopen.

Settlement of hedging transactions involving foreign currencies might be required to take place within the country issuing the underlying currency. Thus, the Fund might be required to accept or make delivery of the underlying foreign currency in accordance with any U.S. or foreign regulations regarding the maintenance of foreign banking arrangements by U.S. residents and might be required to pay any fees, taxes and charges associated with such delivery assessed in the issuing country.

Forward Currency Contracts

The Fund may enter into forward currency contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars or another currency at a future date and at a price set by the parties to the forward currency contract. Forward currency contracts are traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers (such as the Fund).

The Fund may purchase a forward currency contract to lock in the U.S. dollar price of a security denominated in a foreign currency that the Fund intends to acquire (a long hedge). The Fund may sell a forward currency contract to lock in the U.S. dollar equivalent of the proceeds from the anticipated sale of a security, dividend or interest payment denominated in a foreign currency (a short hedge). A “position hedge” is when the Fund owns a security denominated in, for example, euros and to protect against a possible decline in the euro’s value, the Fund enters into a forward currency contract to sell euros in return for U.S. dollars. A “position hedge” tends to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. A “proxy hedge” is when the Fund owns a security denominated in, for example, euros and to protect against a possible decline in the euro’s value, the Fund enters into a forward currency contract to sell a currency expected to perform similarly to the euro in return for U.S. dollars. A “proxy hedge” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield or efficiency, but generally would not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a position hedge to the extent the proxy currency does not perform similarly to the targeted currency. The Fund could, in fact, lose money on both legs of the hedge, i.e., between the euro and proxy currency, and between the proxy currency and the dollar. The Fund also may use forward currency contracts to attempt to enhance return or yield. The Fund could use forward currency contracts to increase its exposure to foreign currencies that the portfolio manager believes might rise in value relative to the U.S. dollar, or shift its exposure to foreign currency fluctuations from one currency to another. For example, if the Fund’s portfolio manager believes that the U.S. dollar will increase in value relative to the euro, the Fund could write a forward contract to buy U.S. dollars in three months at the current price in order to sell those U.S. dollars for a profit if the U.S. dollar does in fact appreciate in value relative to the euro. The cost to the Fund of engaging in forward currency contracts varies with factors such as the currency involved, the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing. Because forward currency contracts are usually entered into on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are involved. When the Fund enters into a forward currency contract, it relies on the counterparty to make or take delivery of the underlying currency at the maturity of the contract or to otherwise fulfill its obligations in connection with settlement. Failure by the counterparty to do so would result in the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.

The precise matching of forward currency contract amounts, and the value of the securities involved generally will not be possible because the value of such securities, measured in the foreign currency, will change after the forward currency

 

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contract has been established. Thus, the Fund may need to purchase or sell foreign currencies in the spot (i.e., cash) market to the extent such foreign currencies are not covered by forward currency contracts. The projection of short-term currency market movements is extremely difficult, and the successful execution of a short-term hedging strategy is highly uncertain.

Successful use of forward currency contracts depends on the portfolio manager’s skill in analyzing and predicting currency values. Forward currency contracts may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to changes in currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the portfolio manager anticipates. There is no assurance that the portfolio manager’s use of forward currency contracts will be advantageous to the Fund or that the portfolio manager will hedge at an appropriate time.

Non-deliverable Forwards. The consummation of a deliverable foreign exchange forward requires the actual exchange of the principal amounts of the two currencies in the contract (i.e., settlement on a physical basis). Forward currency contracts in which the Fund may engage also include non-deliverable forwards (“NDFs”). NDFs are cash-settled, forward contracts on foreign currencies (each a “Reference Currency”) that are non-convertible and that may be thinly traded or illiquid. NDFs involve an obligation to pay an amount equal to the difference between the prevailing market exchange rate for the Reference Currency and the agreed upon exchange rate, with respect to an agreed notional amount. NDFs are subject to many of the risks associated with derivatives in general and forward currency transactions, including risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency and the risk that the counterparty will fail to fulfill its obligations.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, NDFs are classified as “swaps” and are therefore subject to the full panoply of CFTC swap regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Although NDFs have historically been traded OTC, in the future, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, they may be subject to mandatory clearing. Non-centrally-cleared NDFs are subject to mandatory minimum margin requirements for uncleared swaps. Deliverable foreign exchange forwards that solely involve the exchange of two different currencies on a specific future date at a fixed rate agreed upon by the parties are not considered “swaps” and accordingly are not subject to many of the regulations that apply to NDFs. However, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act and set forth in CFTC regulations adopted thereunder, foreign exchange forwards must be reported to a swap data repository, and swap dealers and major swap participants who are party to such transactions remain subject to the business conduct standards pertaining to swaps in connection with such deliverable foreign exchange forwards.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

Generally, a futures contract is an exchange-traded, standardized agreement that obligates the seller of the contract to sell a specified quantity of an underlying instrument or asset, such as a security, currency or commodity, to the purchaser of the contract, who has the obligation to buy the underlying instrument or asset, at a specified price and date. In the case of futures on indices, the two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the level of the index calculated for purposes of settlement and the price at which the contract originally was written. Options on futures give the purchaser the right to assume a position in a futures contract at the specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option or at the expiration of the option, depending on the terms of the option.

Futures contracts, by their terms, have stated expirations and, at a specified point in time prior to expiration, trading in a futures contract for the current delivery month will cease. As a result, an investor wishing to maintain exposure to a futures contract with the nearest expiration must close out the position in the expiring contract and establish a new position in the contract for the next delivery month, a process referred to as “rolling.” The process of rolling a futures contract can be profitable or unprofitable depending in large part on whether the futures price for the subsequent delivery month is less than or more than the price of the expiring contract.

Futures contracts and related options may be used for hedging and non-hedging purposes, such as to simulate full investment in the underlying instrument or asset while retaining a cash balance for portfolio management purposes, as a substitute for direct investment in the underlying instrument or asset, to facilitate trading, to reduce transaction costs, or to seek higher investment returns (e.g., when a futures contract or option is priced more attractively than the underlying instrument). In addition, futures strategies can be used to manage the average duration of the Fund’s fixed income portfolio, if applicable. The Fund may sell a debt futures contract or a call option thereon or purchase a put option on that futures contract to attempt to shorten the portfolio’s average duration. Alternatively, the Fund may buy a debt futures contract or a call option thereon or sell a put option thereon to attempt to lengthen the portfolio’s average duration.

 

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At the inception of a futures contract the Fund is required to deposit “initial margin” with a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) in an amount at least equal to the amount designated by the futures exchange. Margin must also be deposited when writing a call or put option on a futures contract, in accordance with applicable exchange rules. Unlike margin in securities transactions, initial margin on futures contracts does not represent a borrowing, but rather is in the nature of a performance bond or good-faith deposit that is required to be returned to the Fund at the termination of the transaction if all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Under certain circumstances, such as periods of high volatility, the Fund may be required by an exchange or by its FCM to increase the level of its initial margin payment, and initial margin requirements might be increased generally in the future by regulatory action.

In addition to initial margin payments, during the life of the transaction “variation margin” payments are made to and from the FCM as the value of the margin and the underlying derivative transaction varies, a process known as “marking-to-market.” Variation margin is intended to represent a daily settlement of the Fund’s obligations to or from an FCM. When the Fund purchases an option on a futures contract, the premium paid plus transaction costs is all that is at risk. However, there may be circumstances when the purchase of an option on a futures contract would result in a loss to the Fund when the use of a futures contract would not, such as when there is no movement in the value of the securities or currencies being hedged. In that case, the Fund would lose the premium it paid for the option plus transaction costs. In contrast, when the Fund purchases or sells a futures contract or writes a call or put option thereon, it is subject to daily variation margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a time when such sales are disadvantageous.

Although some futures and options on futures call for making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument or asset, generally those contracts are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures or options (involving the same instrument or asset and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Fund realizes a gain, or if it is more, the Fund realizes a loss. If an offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a gain, or if it is less, the Fund realizes a loss. The Fund will also bear transaction costs for each contract, which will be included in these calculations. Positions in futures and options on futures may be closed only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular contract at a particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures contract or options position.

Under certain circumstances, futures exchanges may establish daily limits on the amount that the price of a futures contract or an option on a futures contract can vary from the previous day’s settlement price; once that limit is reached, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond the limit. Daily price limits do not limit potential losses because prices could move to the daily limit for several consecutive days with little or no trading, thereby preventing liquidation of unfavorable positions. If the Fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures position due to the absence of a liquid secondary market, the imposition of price limits or otherwise, it could incur substantial losses. The Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments.

Risks of Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. In addition to the risks found under “Derivatives – Risks of Derivatives Generally,” futures contracts and options on futures contracts are subject to the following risks:

Successful use of futures contracts and related options depends upon the ability of the portfolio manager to assess movements in the direction of prices of securities, commodities, measures of value, or interest or exchange rates, which requires different skills and techniques than assessing the value of individual securities. Moreover, futures contracts relate not to the current price level of the underlying instrument or asset, but to the anticipated price level at some point in the future; accordingly trading of stock index futures may not reflect the trading of the securities that are used to formulate the index or even actual fluctuations in the index itself. There is, in addition, the risk that movements in the price of the futures contract will not correlate with the movements in the prices of the securities or other assets being hedged. Price distortions in the marketplace, resulting from increased participation by speculators in the futures market (among other things), may also impair the correlation between movements in the prices of futures contracts and movements in the prices of the hedged assets. If the price of the futures contract moves less than the price of assets that are the subject of the hedge, the hedge will not be fully effective; but if the price of the assets being hedged has moved in an unfavorable direction, the Fund would be in a better position than if it had not hedged at all. If the price of the assets being hedged has moved in a favorable direction, this advantage may be partially offset by losses on the futures position.

 

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Positions in futures contracts and related options may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a market for such contracts. Although the Fund intends to purchase and sell futures and related options only on exchanges or boards of trade where there appears to be a liquid market, there is no assurance that such a market will exist for any particular contract at any particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures position and, in the event of adverse price movements, the Fund would continue to be required to make variation margin payments, where applicable. Options have a limited life and thus can be disposed of only within a specific time period.

Purchasers of options on futures contracts pay a premium in cash at the time of purchase which, in the event of adverse price movements, could be lost. Sellers of options on futures contracts must post initial margin and are subject to additional margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. Because of the low margin deposits required, futures trading involves a high degree of leverage; as a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, or gain, to the Fund. In addition, the Fund’s activities in the futures markets may result in a higher portfolio turnover rate (see “Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage”) and additional transaction costs in the form of added brokerage commissions.

As noted above, exchanges may impose limits on the amount by which the price of a futures contract or related option is permitted to change in a single day. If the price of a contract moves to the limit for several consecutive days, the Fund may be unable during that time to close its position in that contract and may have to continue making payments of variation margin. The CFTC and domestic exchanges have also established (and continue to evaluate and revise) speculative position limits on the maximum speculative position that any person, or group of persons acting in concert, may hold or control in particular contracts. Under current rules and regulations, other accounts managed by the Manager or, if applicable, Subadviser are combined with the positions held by the Fund under the Manager’s or, if applicable, Subadviser’s management for position limit purposes, unless an exemption applies. This aggregation could preclude additional trading by the Fund in such contracts and may require positions held by the Fund to be liquidated, which may adversely affect the performance of the Fund.

When the Fund engages in futures transactions, it will also be exposed to the credit risk of its FCM. If the Fund’s FCM becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or otherwise defaults on its obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive all amounts owed to it in respect of its trading, even if the clearinghouse fully discharges all of its obligations. If an FCM were not to appropriately segregate client assets to the full extent required by the CEA, the Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of an FCM. In the event of an FCM’s bankruptcy, the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of an FCM’s combined customer accounts for the relevant account class, even if certain property held by an FCM is specifically traceable to the Fund (for example, U.S. Treasury bills deposited by the Fund). Such situations could arise due to various factors, or a combination of factors, including inadequate FCM capitalization, inadequate controls on customer trading and inadequate customer capital. In addition, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of a clearinghouse, the Fund might experience a loss of funds deposited through its FCM as margin with the clearinghouse, a loss of unrealized profits on its open positions and the loss of funds owed to it as realized profits on closed positions. Such a bankruptcy or insolvency might also cause a substantial delay before the Fund could obtain the return of funds owed to it by an FCM who is a member of such clearinghouse.

Options

A call option gives the purchaser the right to buy, and obligates the writer to sell, an underlying investment (such as a specified security, commodity, currency, interest rate, currency exchange rate or index) at an agreed-upon price (“strike price”). A put option gives the purchaser the right to sell, and obligates the writer to buy, an underlying investment at an agreed-upon price. An American-style option may be exercised at any time during the term of the option, while a European-style option may be exercised only at the expiration of the option. Purchasers of options pay an amount, known as a premium, to the option writer in exchange for the right granted under the option contract.

The value of an option position will reflect, among other things, the current market value of the underlying instrument, the time remaining until expiration, the relationship of the strike price to the market price of the underlying instrument, the historical price volatility of the underlying instrument and general market conditions. If the purchaser does not exercise the option, it will expire and the purchaser will have only lost the premium paid. If a secondary market exists, a purchaser or the writer may terminate a put option position prior to its exercise by selling it in the secondary market at its current price. The Fund will pay a brokerage commission each time it buys or sells an option. Such commissions may be higher than those that would apply to direct purchases or sales of the underlying instrument.

 

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Exchange-traded options in the United States are issued by a clearing organization affiliated with the exchange on which the option is listed and are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size and strike price. In contrast, OTC options (options not traded on exchanges) are contracts between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a securities dealer or a bank) with no clearing organization guarantee. The terms of OTC options generally are established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract (the counterparty). For a discussion on options on futures see “Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts”.

Put Options. In return for receipt of the premium, the writer of a put option assumes the obligation to pay the strike price for the option’s underlying instrument if the buyer exercises the option. A put writer would generally expect to profit, although its gain would be limited to the amount of the premium it received, if the underlying instrument’s price remains greater than or equal to the strike price. If the underlying instrument’s price falls below the strike price, the put writer would expect to suffer a loss. The buyer of a put option can expect to realize a gain if the underlying instrument’s price falls enough to offset the cost of purchasing the option. Any losses suffered by the buyer would be limited to the amount of the premium plus related transaction costs.

Optional delivery standby commitments are a type of put that gives the buyer of an underlying instrument the right to sell the underlying instrument back to the seller on specified terms to induce a purchase of the underlying instrument.

Call Options. In return for the receipt of the premium, the writer of a call option assumes the obligation to sell the underlying instrument at the strike price to the buyer upon exercise of the option. A call writer would generally expect to profit, although its gain would be limited to the amount of the premium it received, if the option goes unexercised, which typically occurs when the underlying instrument’s price remains less than or equal to the strike price. If the underlying instrument’s price were to rise above the strike price, the writer of the call option would generally expect to suffer a loss, which is theoretically unlimited. A call buyer’s maximum loss is the premium paid for the call option, whereas the buyer’s maximum profit is theoretically unlimited.

Straddles. A long straddle is the purchase of a call and a put option with the same expiration date and relating to the same underlying instrument where the strike price of the put is less than or equal to the strike price of the call. The Fund may enter into a long straddle when its portfolio manager believes that the underlying instrument’s price will move significantly during the term of the options. A short straddle is a combination of a call and a put written on the same underlying instrument with the same expiration date where the strike price of the put is less than or equal to the strike price of the call. In a covered short straddle, the underlying instrument is considered cover for both the put and the call that the Fund has written. The Fund may enter into a short straddle when the portfolio manager believes that it is unlikely that the underlying instrument’s prices will experience volatility during the term of the options.

Options on Indices. Puts and calls on indices are similar to puts and calls on other underlying instruments except that all settlements are in cash and gains or losses depend on changes in the level of the index rather than on price movements of individual underlying instruments. The writer of a call on an index receives a premium and the obligation to pay the purchaser an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and the strike price times a specified multiple (“multiplier”), if the closing level of the index is greater than the strike price of the call. The writer of a put on an index receives a premium and the obligation to deliver to the buyer an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and strike price times the multiplier if the closing level is less than the strike price.

Risks of Options – In addition to the risks described under “Derivatives – Risks of Derivatives Generally,” options are also subject to the following risks:

Options on Indices Risk. The risks of investment in options on indices may be greater than options on securities and other instruments. Because index options are settled in cash, when the Fund writes a call on an index it generally cannot provide in advance for other underlying instruments because it may not be practical for the call writer to hedge its potential settlement obligations by acquiring and holding the underlying securities. The Fund can offset some of the risk of writing a call index option by holding a diversified portfolio of securities similar to those on which the underlying index is based. However, the Fund cannot, as a practical matter, acquire and hold a portfolio containing exactly the same securities as underlie the index and, as a result, bears a risk that the value of the securities held will vary from the value of the index.

If the Fund exercises an index option before the closing index value for that day is available, there is the risk that the level of the underlying index may subsequently change. If such a change causes the exercised option to fall out-of-the-money,

 

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the Fund will be required to pay the difference between the closing index value and the strike price of the option (times the applicable multiplier) to the assigned writer.

Timing Risk. The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying instrument are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying instrument, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. Options are marked to market daily and their value will be affected by changes in the value of the underlying instrument, changes in the dividend rates of the underlying securities, an increase in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived volatility of the stock market and the underlying instrument and the remaining time to the options’ expiration. Additionally, the exercise price of an option may be adjusted downward before the option’s expiration as a result of the occurrence of certain corporate or other events affecting the underlying instrument, such as extraordinary dividends, stock splits, merger or other extraordinary distributions or events. A reduction in the exercise price of an option would reduce the Fund’s capital appreciation potential on an underlying instrument.

Swaps

Generally, a swap agreement involves the exchange between two parties of their respective commitments to pay or receive cash flows, e.g., an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed-rate payments. Swaps may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC (OTC swaps) or, for certain types of swaps, must be executed through a centralized exchange or regulated facility and be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse (cleared swaps). Swaps include but are not limited to, interest rate swaps, total return swaps, index swaps, inflation indexed swaps, currency swaps, credit default swaps and options on swaps or “swaptions”.

OTC swap agreements can be individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments (such as individual securities, baskets of securities and securities indices) or market factors. The swapped returns are generally calculated with respect to a notional amount, that is, the nominal or face amount used to calculate the payments to be made between the parties to the OTC swap.

The Fund may enter into a swap agreement for hedging or non-hedging purposes, including but not limited to, to enhance returns, increase liquidity, protect against currency and security price fluctuations, manage duration and gain exposure to certain markets or securities in a more cost-efficient manner.

Risks of Swaps Generally. In addition to the risks found under “Derivatives – Risks of Derivatives Generally,” swaps are subject to the following risks:

Depending on their structure, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the Fund’s investments and its share price and yield and may affect the Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates (in the United States or abroad), foreign currency values, mortgage-backed security values, corporate borrowing rates or other market factors such as security prices or inflation rates.

Swap agreements will tend to shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if the Fund agrees to exchange payments in U.S. dollars for payments in foreign currency, the swap agreement would tend to decrease the Fund’s exposure to U.S. interest rates and increase its exposure to foreign currency and interest rates.

The absence of a central exchange or market for OTC swap transactions may lead, in some instances, to difficulties in trading and valuation, especially in the event of market disruptions.

Cleared Swaps. Relatively recent legislation and implementing regulation require certain swaps to be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse. Although this clearing mechanism is generally intended to reduce counterparty credit risk, it may disrupt or limit the swap market and may result in swaps being more difficult to trade or value. As swaps become more standardized, the Fund may not be able to enter into swaps that meet its investment needs. The Fund also may not be able to find a clearing member and clearinghouse willing to accept a swap for clearing. In a cleared swap, a central clearing organization will be the counterparty to the transaction. The Fund will assume the risk that the clearinghouse and the clearing member through which the Fund holds its position may be unable to or may otherwise fail to perform their obligations.

When the Fund enters into a cleared swap transaction, the Fund is subject to the credit and counterparty risk of the clearinghouse and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position. Credit/counterparty risk of market participants with respect to centrally cleared swaps is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearinghouse would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearinghouse would have on the financial system. A clearing member is obligated by contract and by applicable regulation to segregate all funds received

 

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

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

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

The Fund may enter into swap transactions with certain counterparties pursuant to master netting agreements. A master netting agreement provides that all swaps entered into between the Fund and that counterparty shall be regarded as parts of an integral agreement. If amounts are payable on a particular date in the same currency in respect of more than one

 

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swap transaction, the amount payable shall be the net amount. In addition, the master netting agreement may provide that if one party (or its affiliates) defaults generally or on any swap, the counterparty can terminate all outstanding swaps with that party. As a result, to the extent the Fund enters into master netting agreements with a counterparty, the Fund may be required to terminate a greater number of swap agreements than if it had not entered into such an agreement, which may result in losses to the Fund.

Interest Rate Swaps, Caps and Floors. Interest rate swaps are agreements between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one party’s obligation is based on a fixed interest rate while the other party’s obligation is based on an interest rate that fluctuates with changes in a designated benchmark. An interest rate cap transaction entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the cap. An interest rate floor transaction entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the floor. A collar combines elements of buying a cap and a floor. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. Caps and floors typically have lower liquidity than swaps.

Options on Swaps (“Swaptions”). A swaption is a contract that gives the counterparty the right, but not the obligation to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement, at some designated future time on specified terms. The Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions. Swaptions are generally subject to the same risks involved in the use of options and swaps. Depending on the terms of the option agreement, the Fund will generally incur a greater degree of risk when it writes a swaption than it will incur when it purchases a swaption. When the Fund purchases a swaption, only the amount of premium the Fund paid is at risk should the option expire unexercised. However, when the Fund writes a swaption, upon exercise of the option the Fund will become obligated according to the terms of the underlying agreement, which may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the premium it received.

Credit Default Swaps and Related Investments. The Fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for investment purposes and to add leverage to its investment portfolio. As the seller in a credit default swap contract, the Fund would be required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a debt-reference obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default by a third party on the debt obligation. In return, the Fund would receive from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the Fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its net assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the swap. Credit default swap contracts involve special risks and may result in losses to the Fund. Credit default swaps may in some cases be illiquid, and they increase credit risk since the Fund has exposure to both the issuer of the referenced obligation and the counterparty to the credit default swap. As there is no central exchange or market for certain credit default swap transactions, they may be difficult to trade or value, especially in the event of market disruptions. It is possible that developments in the swap market, including new or modified government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to terminate existing credit default swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

The Fund may also purchase credit default swap contracts to attempt to hedge against the risk of default of debt securities held in its portfolio, in which case the Fund would function as the counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph. This would involve the risk that the investment may expire worthless and would only generate income in the event of an actual default by the issuer of the underlying obligation (or, as applicable, a credit downgrade or other indication of financial instability). It would also involve credit risk—that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the Fund in the event of a default.

The Fund may invest in credit default swap index products that provide exposure to obligations of multiple issuers. The Fund can either buy the index (take on credit exposure) or sell the index (pass credit exposure to a counterparty). Such investments are subject to the associated risks with investments in credit default swaps discussed above.

Event Linked Swaps. Event-linked swaps result in gains or losses that typically are contingent on, or formulaically related to, defined trigger events. Examples of trigger events include hurricanes, earthquakes, other weather-related phenomena, or statistics related to such events. The occurrence of a trigger event causes a party to lose some or all of the amount invested in an event-linked swap. For example, if a trigger event occurs, the Fund may lose the swap’s notional amount. Event-linked swaps are subject to counterparty risk and leverage risk.

 

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Duration

For the simplest fixed income securities, “duration” indicates the average time at which the security’s cash flows are to be received. For simple fixed income securities with interest payments occurring prior to the payment of principal, duration is always less than maturity. For example, a current coupon “bullet” bond with a maturity of 3.5 years (i.e., a bond that pays interest at regular intervals and that will have a single principal payment of the entire principal amount in 3.5 years) might have a duration of approximately three years. In general, the lower the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed income security, the closer its duration will be to its final maturity; conversely, the higher the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed income security, the shorter its duration will be compared to its final maturity.

Determining duration becomes more complex when fixed income security features like floating or adjustable coupon payments, optionality (for example, the right of the issuer to prepay or call the security), and structuring (for example, the right of the holders of certain securities to receive priority as to the issuer’s cash flows) are considered. The calculation of “effective duration” attempts to take into account optionality and other complex features. Generally, the longer the effective duration of a security, the greater will be the expected change in the percentage price of the security with respect to a change in the security’s own yield. By way of illustration, a security with an effective duration of 3.5 years might normally be expected to go down in price by 35 bps if its yield goes up by 10 bps, while another security with an effective duration of 4.0 years might normally be expected to go down in price by 40 bps if its yield goes up by 10 bps. The assumptions that are made about a security’s features and options when calculating effective duration may prove to be incorrect. For example, many mortgage pass-through securities may have stated final maturities of 30 years, but current prepayment rates, which can vary widely under different economic conditions, may have a large influence on the pass-through security’s response to changes in yield. In these situations, the Fund’s portfolio manager may consider other analytical techniques that seek to incorporate the security’s additional features into the determination of its response to changes in its yield.

A security may change in price for a variety of reasons. For example, floating rate securities may have final maturities of ten or more years, but their effective durations will tend to be very short. If there is an adverse credit event, or a perceived change in the issuer’s creditworthiness, these securities could experience a far greater negative price movement than would be predicted by the change in the security’s yield in relation to its effective duration. As a result, investors should be aware that effective duration is not an exact measurement and may not reliably predict a security’s price sensitivity to changes in yield or interest rates.

Equity Securities

Equity securities include exchange-traded and over-the-counter common and preferred stocks, warrants and rights, and securities convertible into common stocks. Equity securities fluctuate in price based on changes in a company’s financial condition and overall market and economic conditions. The value of a particular security may decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as an increase in production costs, competitive conditions or labor shortages; or due to general market conditions, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or generally adverse investor sentiment. The value of an equity security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. The value of a company’s equity securities may deteriorate because of a variety of factors, including disappointing earnings reports by the issuer, unsuccessful products or services, loss of major customers, major litigation against the issuer or changes in government regulations affecting the issuer or the competitive environment.

Foreign Securities

The risks of investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers or issuers with significant exposure to non-U.S. markets may be related, among other things, to (i) differences in size, liquidity and volatility of, and the degree and manner of regulation of, the securities markets of certain non-U.S. markets compared to the securities markets in the U.S.; (ii) economic, political and social factors; and (iii) foreign exchange matters, such as restrictions on the repatriation of capital, fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, exchange control regulations and costs associated with currency exchange. The political and economic structures in certain foreign countries, particularly emerging markets, are expected to undergo significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries.

 

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Unanticipated political or social developments may affect the values of the Fund’s investments in such countries. The economies and securities and currency markets of many emerging markets have experienced significant disruption and declines. There can be no assurances that these economic and market disruptions will not continue.

Legal remedies available to investors in certain foreign countries may be less extensive than those available to investors in the U.S. or other foreign countries. Accounting standards in other countries are also not necessarily the same as in the United States. If the accounting standards in another country do not require as much detail as U.S. accounting standards, it may be harder for the portfolio manager to completely and accurately determine a company’s financial condition. In addition, the U.S. Government has from time to time in the past imposed restrictions, through penalties and otherwise, on foreign investments by U.S. investors such as the Fund. Also, brokerage commissions and other costs of buying or selling securities often are higher in foreign countries than they are in the U.S. This reduces the amount the Fund can earn on its investments.

The Fund generally holds its foreign securities and cash in foreign banks and securities depositories. Some foreign banks and securities depositories may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In addition, there may be limited or no regulatory oversight over their operations. Also, the laws of certain countries may put limits on the Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a foreign bank or depository or issuer of a security or any of their agents goes bankrupt. In addition, it is often more expensive for the Fund to buy, sell and hold securities in certain foreign markets than in the U.S. The increased expense of investing in foreign markets reduces the amount the Fund can earn on its investments and typically results in a higher operating expense ratio for the Fund as compared to investment companies that invest only in the United States.

Securities of some foreign companies have lower liquidity, and their prices are more volatile, than securities of comparable domestic companies. Certain foreign countries are known to experience long delays between the trade and settlement dates of securities purchased or sold resulting in increased exposure of the Fund to market and foreign exchange fluctuations brought about by such delays, and to the corresponding negative impact on Fund liquidity.

Foreign Currency Risks

The U.S. dollar value of securities denominated in a foreign currency will vary with changes in currency exchange rates, which can be volatile. Accordingly, changes in the value of the currency in which the Fund’s investments are denominated relative to the U.S. dollar will affect the Fund’s net asset value. Exchange rates are generally affected by the forces of supply and demand in the international currency markets, the relative merits of investing in different countries and the intervention or failure to intervene of U.S. or foreign governments and central banks. However, currency exchange rates may fluctuate based on factors intrinsic to a country’s economy. Some emerging market countries also may have managed currencies, which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. In addition, emerging markets are subject to the risk of restrictions upon the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Any devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar in the currencies in which the Fund’s securities are quoted would reduce the Fund’s net asset value per share.

Investment in Emerging Markets

Investors are strongly advised to consider carefully the special risks involved in emerging markets, which are in addition to the usual risks of investing in developed foreign markets around the world.

The risks of investing in securities in emerging countries include: (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) the smaller size of the markets for such securities and lower volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity and in greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies that may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation; (v) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; and (vi) military unrest, war and terrorism.

Investors should note that upon the accession to power of authoritarian regimes, the governments of a number of emerging market countries previously expropriated large quantities of real and personal property similar to the property which may be represented by the securities purchased by the Fund. The claims of property owners against those governments were never finally settled. There can be no assurance that any property represented by securities purchased by the Fund will not also be expropriated, nationalized, or otherwise confiscated at some time in the future. If such confiscation were to occur, the Fund could lose a substantial portion or all of its investments in such countries. The Fund’s investments would similarly be adversely affected by exchange control regulation in any of those countries.

 

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Certain countries in which the Fund may invest may have vocal groups that advocate radical religious or revolutionary philosophies or support ethnic independence. Any disturbance on the part of such individuals could carry the potential for widespread destruction or confiscation of property owned by individuals and entities foreign to such country and could cause the loss of the Fund’s investment in those countries.

Settlement mechanisms in emerging market securities may be less efficient and reliable than in more developed markets. In such emerging securities markets there may be delays and failures in share registration and delivery. In certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. The inability of the Fund to make intended securities purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of a portfolio security caused by settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in the value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, in possible liability to the purchaser. There may also be a danger that, because of uncertainties in the operation of settlement systems in individual markets, competing claims may arise in respect of securities held by or to be transferred to the Fund. Furthermore, compensation schemes may be non-existent, limited or inadequate to meet the Fund’s claims in any of these events.

Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, very negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging markets. While some emerging market countries have sought to develop a number of corrective mechanisms to reduce inflation or mitigate its effects, inflation may continue to have significant effects both on emerging market economies and their securities markets. In addition, many of the currencies of emerging market countries have experienced steady devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar and major devaluations have occurred in certain countries. Economies in emerging markets generally are heavily dependent upon international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by economic conditions, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

Because of the high levels of foreign-denominated debt owed by many emerging market countries, fluctuating exchange rates can significantly affect the debt service obligations of those countries. This could, in turn, affect local interest rates, profit margins and exports, which are a major source of foreign exchange earnings.

To the extent an emerging market country faces a liquidity crisis with respect to its foreign exchange reserves, it may increase restrictions on the outflow of any foreign exchange. Repatriation is ultimately dependent on the ability of the Fund to liquidate its investments and convert the local currency proceeds obtained from such liquidation into U.S. dollars. Where this conversion must be done through official channels (usually the central bank or certain authorized commercial banks), the ability to obtain U.S. dollars is dependent on the availability of such U.S. dollars through those channels and, if available, upon the willingness of those channels to allocate those U.S. dollars to the Fund. The Fund’s ability to obtain U.S. dollars may be adversely affected by any increased restrictions imposed on the outflow of foreign exchange. If the Fund is unable to repatriate any amounts due to exchange controls, it may be required to accept an obligation payable at some future date by the central bank or other governmental entity of the jurisdiction involved. If such conversion can legally be done outside official channels, either directly or indirectly, the Fund’s ability to obtain U.S. dollars may not be affected as much by any increased restrictions except to the extent of the price which may be required to be paid in U.S. dollars. Furthermore, repatriation of investment income, capital and the proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval in some countries.

Many emerging market countries have little experience with the corporate form of business organization and may not have well-developed corporation and business laws or concepts of fiduciary duty in the business context. The Fund may encounter substantial difficulties in obtaining and enforcing judgments against individuals and companies located in certain emerging market countries. It may be difficult or impossible to obtain or enforce legislation or remedies against governments, their agencies and sponsored entities.

Disclosure and regulatory standards in emerging markets in many respects are less stringent than in the United States and other major markets. There also may be a lower level of monitoring and regulation of emerging markets and the activities of investors in such markets; enforcement of existing regulations has been extremely limited. Additionally, accounting, auditing and financial reporting and recordkeeping standards in emerging markets may not provide the same degree of investor protection or information to investors as would generally apply in more developed markets. The Public Accounting Oversight Board, which regulates auditors of U.S. public companies, is unable to inspect audit work papers in certain foreign or emerging market countries.

 

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Trading in the securities of emerging markets presents additional credit and financial risks. The Fund may have limited access to, or there may be a limited number of, potential counterparties that trade in the securities of emerging market issuers. Governmental regulations may restrict potential counterparties to certain financial institutions located or operating in the particular emerging market. Potential counterparties may not possess, adopt or implement creditworthiness standards, financial reporting standards or legal and contractual protections similar to those in developed markets. Currency hedging techniques may not be available or may be limited. The Fund may not be able to reduce or mitigate risks related to trading with emerging market counterparties.

The risk also exists that an emergency situation may arise in one or more emerging markets as a result of which trading of securities may cease or may be substantially curtailed and prices for the Fund’s portfolio securities in such markets may not be readily available. Section 22(e) of the 1940 Act permits a registered investment company to suspend redemption of its shares for any period during which an emergency exists, as determined by the SEC. Accordingly, if the Fund believes that appropriate circumstances warrant, it may apply to the SEC for a determination that an emergency exists within the meaning of Section 22(e) of the 1940 Act. During the period commencing from the Fund’s identification of such conditions until the date of SEC action, the portfolio securities in the affected markets will be valued at fair value as determined by the Manager in accordance with the Fund’s valuation policy.

Although it might be theoretically possible to hedge for anticipated income and gains, the ongoing and indeterminate nature of the risks associated with emerging market investing (and the costs associated with hedging transactions) makes it very difficult to hedge effectively against such risks.

Investment in Frontier Market Countries

Frontier market countries include a sub-set of those currently considered to be developing or emerging by the United Nations or the countries’ authorities or by certain index providers. These countries typically are located in the Asia-Pacific region (including Hong Kong), Eastern Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa.

Frontier market countries generally have smaller economies and even less developed capital markets than traditional emerging markets, and, as a result, the risks of investing in emerging market countries are magnified in frontier market countries. The magnification of risks is the result of: potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity in frontier markets; government ownership or control of parts of private sector and of certain companies; trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by frontier market countries or their trading partners; and the relatively new and unsettled securities laws in many frontier market countries. All of these factors make investing in frontier market countries significantly riskier than investing in other countries, including more developed and traditional emerging market countries, and any one of them could cause the net asset value of the Fund’s shares to decline.

In addition, investing in frontier markets includes the risk of share blocking. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level, for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions have the effect of prohibiting securities to potentially be voted (or having been voted), from trading within a specified number of days before, and in certain instances, after the shareholder meeting.

Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The specific practices may vary by market and the blocking period can last from a day to several weeks, typically terminating on a date established at the discretion of the issuer. Once blocked, the only manner in which to remove the block would be to withdraw a previously cast vote, or to abstain from voting all together. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be very difficult with the particular requirements varying widely by country. Additionally, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed.

Investment in Chinese Debt Instruments Through Bond Connect

Chinese debt instruments trade on the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) and may be purchased through a market access program that is designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China (“Bond Connect”). There are distinct operational and regulatory risks inherent in investing in debt instruments traded on the CIBM in addition to the risks typically associated with investments in emerging market countries. The prices of debt instruments traded on the CIBM may fluctuate significantly due to low trading volume and potential lack of liquidity. The rules to access debt

 

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instruments that trade on the CIBM through Bond Connect are relatively new and subject to change, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to invest in these instruments and to enforce its rights as a beneficial owner of these instruments. Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. In addition, securities offered through Bond Connect may lose their eligibility for trading through the program at any time, in which case they may be sold but can no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. 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.

Investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in China, which could pose risks to the Fund. CIBM does not support all trading strategies (such as short selling) and investments in Chinese debt instruments that trade on the CIBM are subject to the risks of suspension of trading without cause or notice, trade failure or trade rejection and default of securities depositories and counterparties. Furthermore, Chinese debt instruments purchased via Bond Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Money Markets Unit (“CMU”) maintained with a China-based depository (either the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CDCC”) or the Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”)). The Fund’s ownership interest in these Chinese debt instruments will not be reflected directly in book entry with CDCC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of the Fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. Therefore, the Fund’s ability to enforce its rights as a bondholder may depend on CMU’s ability or willingness as record-holder of the bonds to enforce the Fund’s rights as a bondholder. Additionally, the omnibus manner in which Chinese debt instruments are held could expose the Fund to the credit risk of the relevant securities depositories and the Fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. While the Fund holds a beneficial interest in the instruments it acquires through Bond Connect, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested. In addition, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. Moreover, Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.

The Fund’s investments in Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect are generally subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including Chinese securities regulations and listing rules, loss recovery limitations and disclosure of interest reporting obligations. The Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect. Bond Connect can only operate when both China and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. In addition, the trading, settlement and IT systems required for non-Chinese investors in Bond Connect are relatively new. In the event of systems malfunctions or extreme market conditions, trading via Bond Connect could be disrupted. The rules applicable to taxation of Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect remain subject to further clarification. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund, which may negatively affect investment returns for shareholder.

Bond Connect trades are settled in Chinese currency, the Renminbi (“RMB”), which is currently restricted and not freely convertible. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to currency risk, and it cannot be guaranteed that investors will have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB.

Europe — Recent Events

A number of countries in Europe have experienced severe economic and financial difficulties. Many non-governmental issuers, and even certain governments, have defaulted on, or been forced to restructure, their debts; many other issuers have faced difficulties obtaining credit or refinancing existing obligations; financial institutions have in many cases required government or central bank support, have needed to raise capital, and/or have been impaired in their ability to extend credit; and financial markets in Europe and elsewhere have experienced extreme volatility and declines in asset values and liquidity. These difficulties may continue, worsen or spread within and outside of Europe. Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world.

In addition, the United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, commonly referred to as “Brexit.” Following a transition period, the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union passed into law in

 

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December 2020, was provisionally applied effective January 1, 2021, and formally entered into force on May 1, 2021. There is significant market uncertainty regarding Brexit’s ramifications. The range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic, and market outcomes cannot be fully known but could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues. The United Kingdom has one of the largest economies in Europe and is a major trading partner with the European Union countries and the United States. Brexit may create additional and substantial economic stresses for the United Kingdom, including a contraction of the United Kingdom’s economy, decreased trade, capital outflows, devaluation of the British pound, as well as a decrease in business and consumer spending and investment. The negative impact on not only the United Kingdom and other European economies but also the broader global economy could be significant. Moreover, other countries may seek to withdraw from the European Union and/or abandon the euro, the common currency of the European Union. A number of countries in Europe have suffered terror attacks, and additional attacks may occur in the future. Europe has also been struggling with mass migration from the Middle East and Africa.

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

Risks Related to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in the United States, other countries and certain international organizations levying broad economic sanctions against Russia. These sanctions froze certain Russian assets and prohibited, among other things, trading in certain Russian securities and doing business with specific Russian corporate entities, large financial institutions, officials and oligarchs. The sanctions also included the removal of some Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), the electronic network that connects banks globally, and imposed restrictive measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from undermining the impact of the sanctions. The United States and other countries have also imposed economic sanctions on Belarus and may impose sanctions on other countries that support Russia’s military invasion. A number of large corporations and U.S. states have also announced plans to divest interests or otherwise curtail business dealings with certain Russian businesses. These sanctions and any additional sanctions or other intergovernmental actions that may be undertaken against Russia or other countries that support Russia’s military invasion in the future may result in the devaluation of Russian or other affected currencies, a downgrade in the sanctioned country’s credit rating, and a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and securities of issuers in other countries that support the invasion. The potential for wider conflict may further decrease the value and liquidity of certain Russian securities and securities of issuers in other countries affected by the invasion. In addition, the ability to price, buy, sell, receive, or deliver such securities is also affected due to these measures. For example, the Fund may be prohibited from investing in securities issued by companies subject to such sanctions. In addition, the sanctions may require the Fund to freeze its existing investments in companies operating in or having dealings with Russia or other sanctioned countries, which would prevent the Fund from selling these investments. Any exposure that the Fund may have to Russian counterparties or counterparties in other sanctioned countries also could negatively impact the Fund’s portfolio.

Additionally, Russia has taken retaliatory actions, including preventing repatriation of capital by U.S. and other investors. The ongoing conflict has resulted in significant market disruptions, including in certain markets, industries and sectors, such as the oil and natural gas markets, and negatively affected global supply chains, food supplies, inflation and global growth. The extent and duration of Russia’s military actions and the repercussions of such actions (including sanctions, retaliatory actions and countermeasures, including cyber attacks) are impossible to predict. These and any related events could significantly impact the Fund’s performance and the value of an investment in the Fund, even beyond any direct exposure the Fund may have to Russian issuers or issuers in other countries directly affected by the invasion.

Sovereign Government and Supranational Debt Obligations

The Fund may invest in all types of debt securities of governmental issuers in all countries, including emerging markets. These sovereign debt securities may include: debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments, governmental agencies or instrumentalities and political subdivisions located in emerging market countries; debt securities issued by government owned, controlled or sponsored entities located in emerging market countries; interests issued for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers; Brady Bonds, which are debt securities issued

 

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under the framework of the Brady Plan as a means for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness; participations in loans between emerging market governments and financial institutions; or debt securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank. A supranational entity is a bank, commission or company established or financially supported by the national governments of one or more countries to promote reconstruction or development. Included among these entities are the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Supranational organizations have no taxing authority and are dependent on their members for payments of interest and principal. There is no guarantee that one or more members of a supranational organization will continue to make capital contributions. If such contributions are not made, the organization may be unable to pay interest or repay principal on its debt securities, and the Fund may lose money on such investments. Further, the lending activities of such entities are limited to a percentage of their total capital, reserves and net income.

Sovereign debt is subject to risks in addition to those relating to non-U.S. investments generally. As a sovereign entity, the issuing government may be immune from lawsuits in the event of its failure or refusal to pay the obligations when due. The debtor’s willingness or ability to repay in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-U.S. currency reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign currency exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders and the political constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Sovereign debtors may also be dependent on disbursements or assistance from non-U.S. governments or multinational agencies, the country’s access to trade and other international credits, and the country’s balance of trade. Assistance may be dependent on a country’s implementation of austerity measures and reforms, economic performance and/or the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Some sovereign debtors have rescheduled their debt payments, declared moratoria on payments or restructured their debt to effectively eliminate portions of it, and similar occurrences may happen in the future. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which sovereign debt on which governmental entities have defaulted may be collected in whole or in part.

Depositary Receipts

Depositary receipts demonstrate ownership of shares of a foreign issuer and are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign security. Depositary receipts may be sponsored or unsponsored and include American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and non-voting depositary receipts (“NVDRs”). ADRs in registered form are typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company, traded in U.S. dollars, and are designed for use in the domestic market. GDRs, EDRs, NVDRs and other similar instruments may be issued by a U.S. or non-U.S. entity and may be traded in other currencies. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. EDRs are issued in bearer form and are designed for use in European securities markets.

Depositary receipts in general are subject to many of the risks associated with foreign investing (e.g., increased market, illiquidity, currency, political, information and other risks), and even where traded in U.S. dollars are subject to currency risk if the underlying security is traded in a foreign currency. Unsponsored depositary receipts are issued without the participation of the issuer of the underlying foreign security and there may be less information available about such issuers than there is with respect to domestic companies and issuers of securities underlying sponsored depositary receipts. Even if there is information available, there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the depositary receipts.

High Yield (“Junk”) Bonds

High yield securities are medium or lower rated securities and unrated securities of comparable quality, sometimes referred to as “high yield” or “junk” bonds. Generally, such securities offer a higher current yield than is offered by higher rated securities, but also are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the securities. The market values of certain of these securities also tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher quality bonds. In addition, medium and lower rated securities and comparable unrated securities generally present a higher degree of credit risk. The risk of loss because of default by issuers of these securities is significantly greater because medium and lower rated securities generally are unsecured and frequently subordinated to senior indebtedness. In addition, the market value of securities in lower rated categories is

 

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generally more volatile than that of higher quality securities, and the markets in which medium and lower rated securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its securities and calculating its net asset value. Moreover, the lack of a liquid trading market may restrict the availability of securities for the Fund to purchase and may also limit the ability of the Fund to sell securities at their fair value either to meet redemption requests or to respond to changes in the economy or the financial markets.

Lower rated debt obligations often have redemption features that permit an issuer to repurchase the security from the Fund before it matures. If an issuer exercises that right, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. If the Fund experiences unexpected net redemptions, it may be forced to sell its higher rated bonds, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of the securities held by the Fund and increasing the exposure of the Fund to the risks of lower rated securities. Investments in lower rated zero coupon bonds may be more speculative and subject to greater fluctuations in value because of changes in interest rates than lower rated bonds that pay interest currently.

Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by the Fund (if applicable). Neither event will require sale of these securities by the Fund, but the portfolio manager will consider the event in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the security.

Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities

The Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. An illiquid security is any security which the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the security. To the extent required by applicable law and SEC guidance, the Fund will not acquire an illiquid security if such acquisition would cause the aggregate value of illiquid securities to exceed 15% of the Fund’s net assets. If at any time the portfolio manager determines that the value of illiquid securities held by the Fund exceeds 15% of the Fund’s net assets, the portfolio manager will take such steps as it considers appropriate to reduce the percentage within a reasonable period of time consistent with applicable regulatory requirements. Because illiquid investments may not be readily marketable, the Fund may not be able to dispose of them in a timely manner. As a result, the Fund may be forced to hold illiquid investments while their price depreciates. Depreciation in the price of illiquid investments may cause the net asset value of the Fund to decline.

Restricted securities are securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on their resale, such as private placements. Such restrictions might prevent the sale of restricted securities at a time when the sale would otherwise be desirable. Under SEC regulations, certain restricted securities acquired through private placements can be traded freely among qualified purchasers. While restricted securities are generally presumed to be illiquid, it may be determined that a particular restricted security is liquid. Investing in these restricted securities could have the effect of increasing the Fund’s illiquidity if qualified purchasers become, for a time, uninterested in buying these securities.

Restricted securities may be sold only (1) pursuant to SEC Rule 144A or another exemption, (2) in privately negotiated transactions or (3) in public offerings with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the 1933 Act. Rule 144A securities, although not registered in the U.S., may be sold to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. As noted above, the Fund may determine that some Rule 144A securities are liquid. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a restricted security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than prevailed when it decided to sell.

Illiquid securities may be difficult to value, and the Fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities promptly. The Fund does not consider non-U.S. securities to be restricted if they can be freely sold in the principal markets in which they are traded, even if they are not registered for sale in the U.S.

Liquidity Risk Management. Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act requires, among other things, that the Fund and other Legg Mason open-end funds establish a liquidity risk management program (“LRMP”) that is reasonably designed to assess and manage liquidity risk. Rule 22e-4 defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that a fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the fund without significant dilution of the remaining investors’ interests in the fund. The Fund has implemented a LRMP to

 

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meet the relevant requirements. Additionally, the Board, including a majority of the Independent Directors, approved the designation of the Fund’s LRMP administrator to administer such program and will review no less frequently than annually a written report prepared by the LRMP administrator that addresses the operation of the LRMP and assesses its adequacy and effectiveness of implementation. Among other things, the LRMP provides for the classification of each Fund investment as a “highly liquid investment,” “moderately liquid investment,” “less liquid investment” or “illiquid investment.” The liquidity risk classifications of the Fund’s investments are determined after reasonable inquiry and taking into account relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations. To the extent that a Fund investment is deemed to be an “illiquid investment” or a “less liquid investment,” the Fund can expect to be exposed to greater illiquidity risk. There is no guarantee the LRMP will be effective in its operations, and complying with Rule 22e-4, including bearing related costs, could impact the Fund’s performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

Inflation Indexed Securities

Inflation indexed bonds are fixed income securities whose principal value or coupon (interest payment) is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the index-based accruals as part of a semiannual coupon. The Fund may also invest in inflation-indexed securities with other structures or characteristics as such securities become available in the market. It is currently expected that other types of inflation-indexed securities would have characteristics similar to those described below.

U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (“U.S. TIPS”) are fixed income securities issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the principal amounts of which are adjusted daily based upon changes in the rate of inflation (currently represented by the non-seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”), calculated with a three-month lag). The U.S. Department of Treasury issues U.S. TIPS in maturities of five, ten and thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. U.S. TIPS pay interest on a semi-annual basis, equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal amount. The interest rate on these bonds is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation.

Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed for U.S. TIPS, even during a period of deflation. However, because the principal amount of U.S. TIPS would be adjusted downward during a period of deflation, the Fund will be subject to deflation risk with respect to its investments in these securities. In addition, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. If the Fund purchases U.S. TIPS in the secondary market whose principal values have been adjusted upward due to inflation since issuance, the Fund may experience a loss if there is a subsequent period of deflation. The Fund may also invest in other inflation-related bonds which may or may not provide a guarantee of principal.

The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation indexed bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation indexed bonds. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds the security, the Fund may earn less on the security than on a conventional bond. Any increase in principal value is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though holders do not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, if the Fund invests in inflation-indexed securities, it could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company and to eliminate any fund-level income tax liability under the Code.

While these securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.

The U.S. Treasury began issuing inflation-indexed bonds in 1997. Certain non-U.S. governments, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, have a longer history of issuing inflation indexed bonds, and there may be a more liquid market in certain of these countries for these securities. The Fund may invest in inflation-indexed securities issued in any country.

 

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The periodic adjustment of U.S. TIPS is currently tied to the CPI-U, which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The CPI-U is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. Inflation-indexed bonds issued by a non-U.S. government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable inflation index, calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U or any non-U.S. inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. In addition, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a non-U.S. country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States. The three-month lag in calculating the CPI-U for purposes of adjusting the principal value of U.S. TIPS may give rise to risks under certain circumstances.

Investments by Other Funds and by Other Significant Investors

Certain investment companies, including those that are affiliated with the Fund because they are managed by the Manager or an affiliate of the Manager, may invest in the Fund and may at times have substantial investments in one or more funds. Other investors also may at times have substantial investments in one or more funds.

From time to time, the Fund may experience relatively large redemptions or investments due to transactions in Fund shares by a fund or other significant investor. The effects of these transactions could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. In the event of such redemptions or investments, the Fund could be required to sell securities or to invest cash at a time when it is not advantageous to do so. Such transactions may increase brokerage and/or other transaction costs of the Fund. A large redemption could cause the Fund’s expenses to increase and could result in the Fund becoming too small to be economically viable. Redemptions of Fund shares could also accelerate the realization of taxable capital gains in the Fund if sales of securities result in capital gains. The impact of these transactions is likely to be greater when a fund or other significant investor purchases, redeems, or owns a substantial portion of the Fund’s shares.

The Manager and the Subadviser are subject to potential conflicts of interest in connection with investments in the Fund by an affiliated fund due to their affiliation. For example, the Manager or the Subadviser could have the incentive to permit an affiliated fund to become a more significant shareholder (with the potential to cause greater disruption) than would be permitted for an unaffiliated investor. Investments by an affiliated fund may also give rise to conflicts in connection with the voting of fund shares. The Manager, the Subadviser and/or its advisory affiliates intend to seek to address these potential conflicts of interest in the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders, although there can be no assurance that such efforts will be successful. The Manager and the Subadviser will consider how to minimize potential adverse impacts of affiliated fund investments, and, may take such actions as each deems appropriate to address potential adverse impacts, including redemption of shares in-kind, rather than in cash.

Investments in Other Investment Companies

Subject to applicable statutory and regulatory limitations described below, the Fund may invest in shares of other investment companies, including shares of open-end and closed-end investment companies affiliated or unaffiliated with the Fund, business development companies, exchange-traded funds and unregistered investment companies.

An investment in an investment company is subject to the risks associated with that investment company’s portfolio securities. Investments in closed-end funds may entail the additional risk that the market value of such investments may be substantially less than their net asset value. To the extent the Fund invests in shares of another investment company, the Fund will indirectly bear a proportionate share of that investment company’s advisory fees and other operating expenses. These fees are in addition to the advisory fees and other operational expenses incurred directly by the Fund. In addition, the Fund could incur a sales charge in connection with purchasing an investment company security or a redemption fee upon the redemption of such security.

Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act provides that a fund may not purchase or otherwise acquire the securities of other investment companies if, as a result of such purchase or acquisition, it would own: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired investment company; (ii) securities issued by any one investment company having a value in excess of 5% of the fund’s total assets; or (iii) securities issued by all investment companies having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the fund’s total assets. These limitations are subject to certain statutory and regulatory exemptions including Rule 12d1-4, which permits the Fund to invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits, subject to certain conditions. Among other conditions, the Rule prohibits a fund from acquiring control of another investment company (other than an investment company in the same group of investment companies), including by acquiring more than 25% of its voting securities.

 

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In addition, the Rule imposes certain voting requirements when a fund’s ownership of another investment company exceeds particular thresholds. If shares of a fund are acquired by another investment company, the “acquired” fund may not purchase or otherwise acquire the securities of an investment company or private fund if immediately after such purchase or acquisition, the securities of investment companies and private funds owned by that acquired fund have an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the acquired fund, subject to certain exceptions. These restrictions may limit the Fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies to the extent desired. In addition, other unaffiliated investment companies may impose other investment limitations or redemption restrictions which may also limit the Fund’s flexibility with respect to making investments in those unaffiliated investment companies.

Investment in Affiliated Money Market Funds

The Fund may invest, to the extent permitted by applicable law, all or some of its short-term cash investments in a money market fund or similarly-managed pool advised by the Manager, Subadviser or an affiliate of the Manager that may or may not be required to register with the SEC as an investment company. In connection with any such investments, the Fund, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, may pay its share of expenses of the fund in which it invests, which may result additional expenses for the Fund.

Loans

Loans are negotiated and underwritten by a bank or syndicate of banks and other institutional investors. The Fund may acquire an interest in loans through the primary market by acting as one of a group of lenders of a loan. The primary risk in an investment in loans is that the borrower may be unable to meet its interest and/or principal payment obligations. The occurrence of such a default with regard to a loan in which the Fund had invested would have an adverse effect on the Fund’s net asset value. In addition, a sudden and significant increase in market interest rates may cause a decline in the value of these investments and in the Fund’s net asset value. Other factors, such as rating downgrades, credit deterioration, or large downward movement in stock prices, a disparity in supply and demand of certain securities or market conditions that reduce liquidity could reduce the value of loans, impairing the Fund’s net asset value. Loans may not be considered “securities” for certain purposes and purchasers, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws.

Loans in which the Fund may invest may be collateralized or uncollateralized and senior or subordinate. Investments in uncollateralized and/or subordinate loans entail a greater risk of nonpayment than do investments in loans which hold a more senior position in the borrower’s capital structure or that are secured with collateral. In the case of collateralized senior loans, however, there is no assurance that sale of the collateral would raise enough cash to satisfy the borrower’s payment obligation or that the collateral can or will be liquidated. As a result, the Fund might not receive payments to which it is entitled and thereby may experience a decline in the value of its investment and its net asset value. In the event of bankruptcy, liquidation may not occur and the court may not give lenders the full benefit of their senior positions. If the terms of a senior loan do not require the borrower to pledge additional collateral, the Fund will be exposed to the risk that the value of the collateral will not at all times equal or exceed the amount of the borrower’s obligations under the senior loans. To the extent that a senior loan is collateralized by stock in the borrower or its subsidiaries, such stock may lose all of its value in the event of bankruptcy of the borrower.

The Fund may also acquire an interest in loans by purchasing participations (“Participations”) in and/or assignments (“Assignments”) of portions of loans from third parties. By purchasing a Participation, the Fund acquires some or all of the interest of a bank or other lending institution in a loan to a borrower. Participations typically will result in the Fund’s having a contractual relationship only with the lender and not the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the Participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. In connection with purchasing Participations, the Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement relating to the loan, nor any rights of set-off against the borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the Participation. As a result, the Fund will assume the credit risk of both the borrower and the lender that is selling the Participation.

When the Fund purchases Assignments from lenders, the Fund will acquire direct rights against the borrower on the loan. However, since Assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and assignors, the rights and obligations acquired by the Fund as the purchaser of an Assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those

 

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held by the lender from which the Fund is purchasing the Assignments. Certain of the Participations or Assignments acquired by the Fund may involve unfunded commitments of the lenders or revolving credit facilities under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan documentation.

The Fund may acquire loans of borrowers that are experiencing, or are more likely to experience, financial difficulty, including loans of borrowers that have filed for bankruptcy protection. Although loans in which the Fund will invest generally will be secured by specific collateral, there can be no assurance that liquidation of such collateral would satisfy the borrower’s obligation in the event of nonpayment of scheduled interest or principal, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a senior loan.

In addition, the Fund may have difficulty disposing of its investments in loans. The liquidity of such securities is limited and the Fund anticipates that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. The lack of a liquid secondary market could have an adverse impact on the value of such securities and on the Fund’s ability to dispose of particular loans or Assignments or Participations when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, such as a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the borrower. The lack of a liquid secondary market for loans may also make it more difficult for the Fund to assign a value to those securities for purposes of valuing the Fund’s investments and calculating its net asset value.

The issuer of a loan may offer to provide material, non-public information about the issuer to investors, such as the Fund. The Fund’s portfolio manager may avoid receiving this type of information about the issuer of a loan either held by or considered for investment by the Fund, because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of such information. The decision not to receive material, non-public information may place the Fund at a disadvantage, relative to other loan investors, in assessing a loan or the loan’s issuer.

Covenant Lite Loans

Loan agreements, which set forth the terms of a loan and the obligations of the borrower and lender, contain certain covenants that mandate or prohibit certain borrower actions, including financial covenants that dictate certain minimum and maximum financial performance levels. Covenants that require the borrower to maintain certain financial metrics during the life of the loan (such as maintaining certain levels of cash flow and limiting leverage) are known as “maintenance covenants.” These covenants are included to permit the lender to monitor the performance of the borrower and declare an event of default if breached, allowing the lender to renegotiate the terms of the loan based upon the elevated risk levels or take other actions to help mitigate losses. Covenant lite loans contain fewer maintenance covenants than traditional loans, or no maintenance covenants at all, and may not include terms that allow the lender to monitor the financial performance of the borrower and declare a default if certain criteria are breached. This may expose the Fund to greater credit risk associated with the borrower and reduce the Fund’s ability to restructure a problematic loan and mitigate potential loss. As a result, the Fund’s exposure to losses on such investments may be increased, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle.

London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) Replacement and Other Reference Rates Risk

Many debt securities, derivatives, and other financial instruments, including some of the Fund’s investments, utilize benchmark or reference rates such as LIBOR, Euro Interbank Offer Rate (“EURIBOR”), Sterling Overnight Index Average Rate (“SONIA”), and other similar types of reference rates for variable interest rate calculations. Instruments in which the Fund invests may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR or other similar types of reference rates or may be subject to interest caps or floors based on such reference rates. The Fund and issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests may also obtain financing at floating rates based on such reference rates. The elimination of a reference rate or any other changes to or reforms of the determination or supervision of reference rates could have an adverse impact on the market for—or value of—any instruments or payments linked to those reference rates.

In 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) announced its intention to cease compelling banks to provide the quotations needed to sustain LIBOR after 2021. ICE Benchmark Administration, the administrator of LIBOR, ceased publication of most LIBOR settings on a representative basis at the end of 2021 and is expected to cease publication of the remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR settings on a representative basis after June 30, 2023. In addition, global regulators have announced that, with limited exceptions, no new LIBOR-based contracts should be entered into after 2021. Actions by regulators have resulted in the

 

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establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. Markets are developing in response to these new rates but questions around liquidity in these rates and how to appropriately adjust these rates to eliminate any economic value transfer at the time of transition remain a significant concern. The effect of any changes to—or discontinuation of—LIBOR on the Fund will vary depending on, among other things, existing fallback provisions in individual contracts and whether, how, and when industry participants develop and widely adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments. In March 2022, the U.S. federal government enacted legislation to establish a process for replacing LIBOR in certain existing contracts that do not already provide for the use of a clearly defined or practicable replacement benchmark rate as described in the legislation. Generally speaking, for contracts that do not contain a fallback provision as described in the legislation, a benchmark replacement recommended by the Federal Reserve Board will effectively automatically replace the USD LIBOR benchmark in the contract after June 30, 2023. The recommended benchmark replacement will be based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, including certain spread adjustments and benchmark replacement conforming changes. It is difficult to predict the full impact of the transition away from LIBOR on the Fund. The transition process may involve, among other things, increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments that rely on LIBOR. The transition may also result in a reduction in the value of certain LIBOR-based investments held by the Fund or reduce the effectiveness of related transactions such as hedges. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, could result in losses for the Fund. Because the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark may deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur at any time.

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities – Generally

An asset-backed security is a fixed income security that derives its value primarily from cash flows relating to a pool of assets. There are a number of different types of asset-backed and related securities, including mortgage-backed securities, securities backed by other pools of collateral (such as automobile loans, student loans, sub-prime mortgages, and credit card receivables), collateralized mortgage obligations, and collateralized debt obligations.

Asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities differ from conventional bonds in that principal is paid over the life of the securities rather than at maturity. As a result, payments of principal of and interest on mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities are made more frequently than are payments on conventional debt securities. The average life of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is likely to be substantially less than the original maturity of the underlying asset pools as a result of prepayments or foreclosures of mortgages, as applicable. In addition, holders of mortgage-backed securities and of certain asset-backed securities (such as asset-backed securities backed by home equity loans) may receive unscheduled payments of principal at any time representing prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or financial assets. When the holder of the security attempts to reinvest prepayments or even the scheduled payments of principal and interest, it may receive a rate of interest that is higher or lower than the rate on the mortgage-backed security or asset-backed security originally held. To the extent that mortgage-backed securities or asset-backed securities are purchased by the Fund at a premium, mortgage foreclosures and principal prepayments may result in a loss to the extent of the premium paid. To the extent the loans underlying a security representing an interest in a pool of mortgages or other assets are prepaid, the Fund may experience a loss (if the price at which the respective security was acquired by the Fund was at a premium over par, which represents the price at which the security will be redeemed upon prepayment) or a gain (if the price at which the respective security was acquired by the Fund was at a discount from par). In addition, prepayments of such securities held by the Fund will reduce the share price of the Fund to the extent the market value of the securities at the time of prepayment exceeds their par value, and will increase the share price of the Fund to the extent the par value of the securities exceeds their market value at the time of prepayment. Prepayments may occur with greater frequency in periods of declining interest rates because, among other reasons, it may be possible for borrowers to refinance their outstanding obligation at lower interest rates. When market interest rates increase, the market values of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities decline. At the same time, however, refinancing slows, which lengthens the effective maturities of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the rate increase on the market value of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of fixed income securities.

Changes in the market’s perception of the mortgages or assets backing the security, the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the loan pool, the originator of the loans, or the financial institution providing any credit enhancement, will all affect the value of an asset-backed or mortgage-backed security, as will the exhaustion of any credit enhancement.

The risks of investing in asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities ultimately depend upon the payment of the underlying loans by the individual borrowers. In its capacity as purchaser of an asset-backed security or mortgage-backed

 

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security, the Fund would generally have no recourse to the entity that originated the loans in the event of default by the borrower. The risk of non-payment is greater for asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities that are backed by pools that contain subprime loans, but a level of risk exists for all loans. Market factors adversely affecting loan repayments may include a general economic turndown and high unemployment. Mortgage-backed securities may be adversely affected by a general slowdown in the real estate market, a drop in the market prices of real estate, or an increase in interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments by holders of adjustable rate mortgages. The economic impacts of COVID-19 have created a unique challenge for real estate markets. Many businesses have either partially or fully transitioned to a remote-working environment and this transition may negatively impact the occupancy rates of commercial real estate over time. Similarly, trends in favor of online shopping may negatively affect the real estate market for commercial properties.

Additional information regarding different types of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is provided below. Governmental, government-related or private entities may create pools of loan assets offering pass-through investments in addition to those described below. As new types of asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities are developed and offered to investors, the portfolio manager may, consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, consider making investments in such new types of securities.

Mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) represent interests in pools of mortgage loans made by lenders such as savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, commercial banks and others, to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings or other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are assembled for sale to investors (such as the Fund) by various governmental or government-related agencies and private organizations, such as dealers.

Government-sponsored MBS. Some government sponsored mortgage-related securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the principal guarantor of such securities, is a wholly-owned United States government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Other government-sponsored mortgage-related securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Issuers of such securities include Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (formally known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation which is subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Pass-through securities issued by Fannie Mae are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress and subject to general regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Participation certificates representing interests in mortgages from Freddie Mac’s national portfolio are guaranteed as to the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal by Freddie Mac. The U.S. government has provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the past, but there can be no assurances that it will support these or other government-sponsored entities in the future.

Privately issued MBS. Unlike MBS issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or certain government-sponsored entities, MBS issued by private issuers do not have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee, but may have credit enhancement provided by external entities such as banks or financial institutions or achieved through the structuring of the transaction itself.

In addition, MBS that are issued by private issuers are not subject to the underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those MBS that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. As a result, the mortgage loans underlying private MBS may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, credit risk or other underwriting characteristics than government or government-sponsored MBS and have wider variances in a number of terms including interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. Privately issued pools more frequently include second mortgages, high loan-to-value mortgages and manufactured housing loans. The coupon rates and maturities of the underlying mortgage loans in a private-label MBS pool may vary to a greater extent than those included in a government guaranteed pool, and the pool may include subprime mortgage loans. Subprime loans refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans. For these reasons, the loans underlying these securities have had in many cases higher default rates than those loans that meet government underwriting requirements.

Privately issued 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-backed 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.

 

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Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities. Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities (“ARMBS”) are pass-through securities collateralized by mortgages with adjustable rather than fixed rates. Adjustable rate mortgages eligible for inclusion in a mortgage pool generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a set number of scheduled monthly payments. After that schedule of payments has been completed, the interest rates of the adjustable rate mortgages are subject to periodic adjustment based on changes to a designated benchmark index.

Mortgages underlying most ARMBS may contain maximum and minimum rates beyond which the mortgage interest rate may not vary over the lifetime of the mortgage. In addition, certain adjustable rate mortgages provide for additional limitations on the maximum amount by which the mortgage interest rate may adjust for any single adjustment period. In the event that market rates of interest rise more rapidly to levels above that of the maximum rate for the adjustable rate mortgages underlying an ARMBS, the ARMBS’ coupon may represent a below market rate of interest. In these circumstances, the market value of the ARMBS will likely have fallen. During periods of declining interest rates, income to the Fund derived from adjustable rate mortgages that remain in the mortgage pool underlying the ARMBS may decrease in contrast to the income on fixed rate mortgages, which will remain constant. Adjustable rate mortgages also have less potential for appreciation in value as interest rates decline than do fixed rate investments. In addition, the current yields on ARMBS may be different than market yields during interim periods between coupon reset dates.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”) are structured with two or more classes of securities that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have at least one class receiving only a small portion of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (“IO” or interest-only class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (“PO” or principal-only class). The yield to maturity on IOs, POs and other mortgage-backed securities that are purchased at a substantial premium or discount generally are extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on such securities’ yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities even if the securities have received the highest rating by a NRSRO.

SMBS have greater volatility than other types of securities. Although SMBS are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, the market for such securities has not yet been fully developed. Accordingly, the secondary market for SMBS may be more volatile and have lower liquidity than that for other MBS, potentially limiting the Fund’s ability to buy or sell SMBS at any particular time.

Collateralized mortgage obligations. Another type of security representing an interest in a pool of mortgage loans is known as a collateralized mortgage obligation (“CMO”). CMOs represent interests in a short-term, intermediate-term or long-term portion of a mortgage pool. Each portion of the pool receives monthly interest payments, but the principal repayments pass through to the short-term CMO first and to the long-term CMO last. A CMO permits an investor to more accurately predict the rate of principal repayments. CMOs are issued by private issuers, such as broker-dealers, and by government agencies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Investments in CMOs are subject to the same risks as direct investments in the underlying mortgage-backed securities. In addition, in the event of a bankruptcy or other default of a broker that issued the CMO held by the Fund, the Fund could experience delays in liquidating both its position and losses. The Fund may invest in CMOs in any rating category of the recognized rating services and may invest in unrated CMOs. The Fund may also invest in “stripped” CMOs, which represent only the income portion or the principal portion of the CMO. The values of stripped CMOs are very sensitive to interest rate changes; accordingly, these instruments present a greater risk of loss than conventional mortgage-backed securities.

Tiered index bonds. Tiered index bonds are relatively new forms of mortgage-related securities. The interest rate on a tiered index bond is tied to a specified index or market rate. So long as this index or market rate is below a predetermined “strike” rate, the interest rate on the tiered index bond remains fixed. If, however, the specified index or market rate rises above the “strike” rate, the interest rate of the tiered index bond will decrease. Thus, under these circumstances, the interest rate on a tiered index bond, like an inverse floater, will move in the opposite direction of prevailing interest rates, with the result that the price of the tiered index bond would decline and may be considerably more volatile than that of a fixed-rate bond.

 

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Other Asset-Backed Securities – Additional Information

Similar to mortgage-backed securities, other types of asset-backed securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government (including those whose securities are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government), foreign governments (or their agencies or instrumentalities), or non-governmental issuers. These securities include securities backed by pools of automobile loans, educational loans, home equity loans, and credit card receivables. The underlying pools of assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose entities. These securities may be subject to the risks described above under “Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities — Generally,” including risks associated with changes in interest rates and prepayment of underlying obligations.

Certain types of asset-backed securities present additional risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. In particular, certain types of asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in the related assets. For example, many securities backed by credit card receivables are unsecured. Even when security interests are present, the ability of an issuer of certain types of asset-backed securities to enforce those interests may be more limited than that of an issuer of mortgage-backed securities. For instance, automobile receivables generally are secured by automobiles rather than by real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying assets. In addition, because of the large number of underlying vehicles involved in a typical issue of asset-backed securities and technical requirements under state law, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in all of the automobiles. Therefore, recoveries on repossessed automobiles may not be available to support payments on these securities.

In addition, certain types of asset-backed securities may experience losses on the underlying assets as a result of certain rights provided to consumer debtors under federal and state law. In the case of certain consumer debt, such as credit card debt, debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on their credit cards (or other debt), thereby reducing their balances due. For instance, a debtor may be able to offset certain damages for which a court has determined that the creditor is liable to the debtor against amounts owed to the creditor by the debtor on his or her credit card.

Additionally, an asset-backed security is subject to risks associated with the servicing agent’s or originator’s performance. For example, a servicing agent or originator’s mishandling of documentation related to the underlying collateral (e.g., failure to properly document a security interest in the underlying collateral) may affect the rights of the security holders in and to the underlying collateral.

Asset-backed commercial paper. The Fund may purchase commercial paper, including asset-backed commercial paper (“ABCP”) that is issued by structured investment vehicles or other conduits. These conduits may be sponsored by mortgage companies, investment banking firms, finance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms and special purpose finance entities. ABCP typically refers to a debt security with an original term to maturity of up to 270 days, the payment of which is supported by cash flows from underlying assets, or one or more liquidity or credit support providers, or both. Assets backing ABCP, which may be included in revolving pools of assets with large numbers of obligors, include credit card, car loan and other consumer receivables and home or commercial mortgages, including subprime mortgages. The repayment of ABCP issued by a conduit depends primarily on the cash collections received from the conduit’s underlying asset portfolio and the conduit’s ability to issue new ABCP. Therefore, there could be losses to the Fund investing in ABCP in the event of credit or market value deterioration in the conduit’s underlying portfolio, mismatches in the timing of the cash flows of the underlying asset interests and the repayment obligations of maturing ABCP, or the conduit’s inability to issue new ABCP. To protect investors from these risks, ABCP programs may be structured with various protections, such as credit enhancement, liquidity support, and commercial paper stop-issuance and wind-down triggers. However there can be no guarantee that these protections will be sufficient to prevent losses to investors in ABCP.

Some ABCP programs provide for an extension of the maturity date of the ABCP if, on the related maturity date, the conduit is unable to access sufficient liquidity through the issue of additional ABCP. This may delay the sale of the underlying collateral and the Fund may incur a loss if the value of the collateral deteriorates during the extension period. Alternatively, if collateral for ABCP deteriorates in value, the collateral may be required to be sold at inopportune times or at prices insufficient to repay the principal and interest on the ABCP. ABCP programs may provide for the issuance of subordinated notes as an additional form of credit enhancement. The subordinated notes are typically of a lower credit quality and have a higher risk of default. A fund purchasing these subordinated notes will therefore have a higher likelihood of loss than investors in the senior notes.

 

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Collateralized debt obligations. The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured securities. CDOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust or other special purpose entity (“SPE”) which is typically backed by a diversified pool of fixed income securities (which may include high risk, below investment grade securities). A CLO is a trust or other SPE that is typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and non-U.S. senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Although certain CDOs may receive credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure, over-collateralization or bond insurance, such enhancement may not always be present, and may fail to protect the Fund against the risk of loss on default of the collateral. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses, which are in addition to those of the Fund.

For both CBOs and CLOs, the cashflows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which bears the first loss from defaults from the bonds or loans in the SPE and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default (though such protection is not complete). Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO or CLO typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and may be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as investor aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class. Interest on certain tranches of a CDO may be paid in kind (paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments.

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs, allowing a CDO to qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed income securities discussed elsewhere in this SAI and the Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and credit risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the collateral may decline in value or default or its credit rating may be downgraded, if rated by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of CDOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results; and (v) the CDO’s manager may perform poorly.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

In a mortgage dollar roll, also known as a forward roll transaction, the Fund sells MBS for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) MBS on a specified future date. The Fund may enter into a mortgage dollar roll commitment with the intention of entering into an offsetting transaction whereby, rather than accepting delivery of the security on the specified future date, the Fund sells the security and then agrees to repurchase a similar security at a later time. In this case, the Fund forgoes interest on the security during the roll period and is compensated by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale of the security and by the difference between the sale price and the lower repurchase price at the future date.

Mortgage dollar rolls involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is obligated to repurchase under the agreement may decline below the repurchase price. In the event the buyer of securities under a mortgage dollar roll files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the Fund’s use of proceeds of the dollar roll may be restricted pending a determination by the other party, or its trustee or receiver, whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities.

Forward roll transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, making the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increasing the Fund’s overall investment exposure. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls may depend on the portfolio manager’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed.

 

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Municipal Securities

Municipal securities (which are also referred to herein as “municipal obligations” or “municipal bonds”) generally include debt obligations (including, but not limited to bonds, notes or commercial paper) issued by or on behalf of any of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and public authorities, certain other governmental issuers (such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) or other qualifying issuers, participations or other interests in these securities and other related investments. The interest paid on municipal securities is generally excluded from gross income for regular U.S. federal income tax purposes, although it may be subject to a U.S. federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”).

Municipal securities are issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, such as airports, bridges, highways, housing, hospitals, mass transportation, schools, streets, water and sewer works, gas, and electric utilities. They may also be issued to refund outstanding obligations, to obtain funds for general operating expenses, or to obtain funds to loan to other public institutions and facilities and in anticipation of the receipt of revenue or the issuance of other obligations.

The two principal classifications of municipal securities are “general obligation” securities and “limited obligation” or “revenue” securities. General obligation securities are secured by a municipal issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit, and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Accordingly, the capacity of the issuer of a general obligation bond to pay interest and repay principal when due is affected by the issuer’s maintenance of its tax base. Revenue securities are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise tax or other specific revenue source. Accordingly, the timely payment of interest and the repayment of principal in accordance with the terms of the revenue security is a function of the economic viability of the facility or revenue source. Revenue securities include private activity bonds which are not payable from the unrestricted revenues of the issuer. Consequently, the credit quality of private activity bonds is usually directly related to the credit standing of the corporate user of the facility involved. Municipal securities may also include “moral obligation” bonds, which are normally issued by special purpose public authorities. If the issuer of moral obligation bonds is unable to meet its debt service obligations from current revenues, it may draw on a reserve fund the restoration of which is a moral commitment but not a legal obligation of the state or municipality which created the issuer.

Preferred Securities

There are two basic types of preferred securities: traditional and hybrid-preferred securities. Traditional preferred securities consist of preferred stock issued by an entity taxable as a corporation. Preferred stocks, which may offer fixed or floating rate dividends, are perpetual instruments and considered equity securities. Preferred stocks are subordinated to debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income and claim to corporate assets, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than debt instruments. Alternatively, hybrid-preferred securities may be issued by corporations, generally in the form of interest-bearing notes with preferred securities characteristics, or by an affiliated trust or partnership of the corporation, generally in the form of preferred interests in subordinated debentures or similarly structured securities. The hybrid-preferred securities market consists of both fixed and adjustable coupon rate securities that are either perpetual in nature or have stated maturity dates.

Traditional Preferred Securities. Traditional preferred securities pay fixed or floating dividends to investors and have “preference” over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of a company’s assets. This means that a company must pay dividends on preferred stock before paying any dividends on its common stock. In order to be payable, distributions on such preferred securities must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors. Income payments on preferred securities may be cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accumulate even if not declared by the board of directors or otherwise made payable. In such a case, all accumulated dividends must be paid before any dividend on the common stock can be paid. However, many traditional preferred stocks are non-cumulative, in which case dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on the traditional preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. Preferred securities may also contain provisions under which payments must be stopped (i.e., stoppage is compulsory, not discretionary). The conditions under which this occurs may relate to, for instance, capitalization levels. Hence, if a company incurs significant losses that deplete retained earnings automatic payment stoppage could occur. In some cases the terms of the preferred securities provide that the issuer would be obligated to attempt to issue

 

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common shares to raise funds for the purpose of making the preferred payments. However, there is no guarantee that the issuer would be successful in placing common shares.

Preferred stockholders usually have no right to vote for corporate directors or on other matters. Shares of traditional preferred securities have a liquidation preference that generally equals the original purchase price at the date of issuance. The market value of preferred securities may be affected by, among other factors, favorable and unfavorable changes impacting the issuer or industries in which they operate, movements in interest rates and inflation, and the broader economic and credit environments, and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws, such as changes in corporate and individual income tax rates. Because the claim on an issuer’s earnings represented by traditional preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, the Fund’s holdings of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced, and the Fund may be unable to acquire securities of comparable credit quality paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.

Hybrid-Preferred Securities. Hybrid-preferred securities are typically junior and fully subordinated liabilities of an issuer or the beneficiary of a guarantee that is junior and fully subordinated to the other liabilities of the guarantor. In addition, hybrid-preferred securities typically permit an issuer to defer the payment of income for eighteen months or more without triggering an event of default. Generally, the maximum deferral period is five years. Because of their subordinated position in the capital structure of an issuer, the ability to defer payments for extended periods of time without default consequences to the issuer, and certain other features (such as restrictions on common dividend payments by the issuer or ultimate guarantor when full cumulative payments on the hybrid preferred securities have not been made), these hybrid-preferred securities are often treated as close substitutes for traditional preferred securities, both by issuers and investors. Hybrid-preferred securities have many of the key characteristics of equity due to their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and because their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows. Hybrid-preferred securities include, but are not limited to, trust preferred securities (TRUPS®); enhanced trust preferred securities (Enhanced TRUPS®); trust-originated preferred securities (TOPrS®); monthly-income preferred securities (MIPS®); quarterly-income bond securities (QUIBS®); quarterly-income debt securities (QUIDS®); quarterly-income preferred securities (QUIPSSM); corporate trust securities (CorTS®); public income notes (PINES®); and other hybrid-preferred securities. Hybrid-preferred securities are typically issued with a final maturity date. In certain instances, a final maturity date may be extended and/or the final payment of principal may be deferred at the issuer’s option for a specified time without default. No redemption can typically take place unless all cumulative payment obligations have been met, although issuers may be able to engage in open-market repurchases without regard to whether all payments have been paid.

Many hybrid-preferred securities are issued by trusts or other special purpose entities established by operating companies and are not a direct obligation of an operating company. At the time the trust or special purpose entity sells such preferred securities to investors, it purchases debt of the operating company (with terms comparable to those of the trust or special purpose entity securities), and the operating company deducts for tax purposes the interest paid on the debt held by the trust or special purpose entity. The trust or special purpose entity is generally required to be treated as transparent for U.S. federal income tax purposes such that the holders of the trust preferred securities are treated as owning beneficial interests in the underlying debt of the operating company. Accordingly, payments on the hybrid-preferred securities are generally treated as interest rather than dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporate taxpayers or the reduced rates of tax that apply to qualified dividend income for non-corporate taxpayers. The trust or special purpose entity in turn is a holder of the operating company’s debt and has priority with respect to the operating company’s earnings and profits over the operating company’s common stockholders, but is typically subordinated to other classes of the operating company’s debt. Typically a preferred security has a credit rating that is lower than that of its corresponding operating company’s senior debt securities.

Within the category of hybrid-preferred securities are senior debt instruments that trade in the broader preferred securities market. These debt instruments, which are sources of long-term capital for the issuers, have structural features similar to other preferred securities such as maturities ranging from 30 years to perpetuity, call features, quarterly payments, exchange listings and the inclusion of accrued interest in the trading price. Preferred securities may be subject to changes in regulations and there can be no assurance that the current regulatory treatment of preferred securities will continue.

 

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Ratings as Investment Criteria

In general, the ratings of NRSROs represent the opinions of these agencies as to the quality of securities that they rate. Such ratings, however, are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality and do not evaluate the market value risk of the securities. These ratings will be used by the Fund as initial criteria for the selection of portfolio securities, but the Fund also will rely upon the independent advice of the portfolio manager to evaluate potential investments. Among the factors that will be considered are the long-term ability of the issuer to pay principal and interest and general economic trends. Appendix B to this SAI contains further information concerning the rating categories of NRSROs and their significance.

In the event that a security is rated by multiple NRSROs and receives different ratings from these NRSROs, the Fund will treat the security as being rated in the highest rating category received from a NRSRO.

If, after purchase, the credit rating on a security is downgraded or the credit quality deteriorates, or if the maturity is extended, the Subadviser will decide whether the security should be held or sold. Upon the occurrence of certain triggering events or defaults, the investors in a security held by the Fund may become the holders of underlying assets. In that case, the Fund may become the holder of securities that it could not otherwise purchase at a time when those assets may be difficult to sell or can be sold only at a loss.

Repurchase Agreements

Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire one or more underlying debt securities from a counterparty (typically a bank or a broker-dealer), subject to the counterparty’s obligation to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the securities at an agreed-upon time and price. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements where the underlying collateral consists entirely of cash items and/or securities of the U.S. Government, its agencies, its instrumentalities, or U.S. Government sponsored enterprises. The Fund may also enter into repurchase agreements where the underlying collateral consists of other types of securities, including securities the Fund could not purchase directly. For such repurchase agreements, the underlying securities which serve as collateral may include, but are not limited to, U.S. government securities, municipal securities, corporate debt obligations, asset-backed securities (including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”)), convertible securities and common and preferred stock and may be of below investment grade quality. The repurchase price is typically greater than the purchase price paid by the Fund, thereby determining the Fund’s yield. A repurchase agreement is similar to, and may be treated as, a secured loan, where the Fund loans cash to the counterparty and the loan is secured by the underlying securities as collateral. All repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund are required to be collateralized so that at all times during the term of a repurchase agreement, the value of the underlying securities is at least equal to the amount of the repurchase price. Also, the Fund or its custodian is required to have control of the collateral, which the portfolio manager believes will give the Fund a valid, perfected security interest in the collateral.

Repurchase agreements could involve certain risks in the event of default or insolvency of the counterparty, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund’s ability to dispose of the underlying securities, the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which the Fund seeks to assert its right to them, the risk that there may be a limited market or no market for disposition of such underlying securities, the risk of incurring expenses associated with asserting those rights and the risk of losing all or part of the income from the agreement. The Fund will seek to mitigate these risks but there is no guarantee that such efforts will be successful. If the Fund enters into a repurchase agreement involving securities the Fund could not purchase directly, and the counterparty defaults, the Fund may become the holder of such securities. Repurchase agreements collateralized by securities other than U.S. government securities may be subject to greater risks and are more likely to have a term to maturity of longer than seven days. Repurchase agreements with a maturity of more than seven days are considered to be illiquid.

Repurchase agreements may be entered into or novated with a financial clearinghouse, which would become the Fund’s counterparty. The Fund would then become subject to the rules of the clearinghouse, which may limit the Fund’s rights and remedies (including recourse to collateral) or delay or restrict the rights and remedies, and expose the Fund to the risks of the clearinghouses’ insolvency.

Pursuant to an exemptive order issued by the SEC, the Fund, along with other affiliated entities managed by the Manager, may transfer uninvested cash balances into one or more joint accounts for the purpose of entering into repurchase agreements secured by cash and U.S. government securities, subject to certain conditions.

 

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Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. A reverse repurchase agreement has the characteristics of a secured borrowing by the Fund and creates leverage in the Fund’s portfolio. In a reverse repurchase transaction, the Fund sells a portfolio instrument to another person, such as a financial institution or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed-upon time and at a price that is greater than the amount of cash that the Fund received when it sold the instrument, representing the equivalent of an interest payment by the Fund for the use of the cash. During the term of the transaction, the Fund will continue to receive any principal and interest payments (or the equivalent thereof) on the underlying instruments.

The Fund may engage in reverse repurchase agreements as a means of raising cash to satisfy redemption requests or for other temporary or emergency purposes. Unless otherwise limited in the Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI, the Fund may also engage in reverse repurchase agreements to the extent permitted by its fundamental investment policies in order to raise additional cash to be invested by the Fund’s portfolio manager in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the Fund’s investment returns.

During the term of the transaction, the Fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement as if it had not entered into the transaction. When the Fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement in other securities, the Fund will also be at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested. Like other forms of leverage, this makes the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increases the Fund’s overall investment exposure. In addition, if the Fund’s return on its investment of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement does not equal or exceed the implied interest that it is obligated to pay under the reverse repurchase agreement, engaging in the transaction will lower the Fund’s return.

When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it is subject to the risk that the buyer under the agreement may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent or otherwise default on its obligations to the Fund. In the event of a default by the counterparty, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in the Fund’s exercising its rights under the agreement, or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.

In addition, the Fund may be unable to sell the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, or may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its obligations under a reverse repurchase agreement. This could adversely affect the Fund’s strategy and result in lower fund returns.

The Fund will treat reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions either (i) consistently with Section 18 of the 1940 Act by maintaining asset coverage of at least 300% of the value of such transactions or (ii) as derivatives transactions for purposes of Rule 18f-4, including, as applicable, the value-at-risk based limit on leverage risk.

Securities Lending

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities, provided that cash or equivalent collateral, equal to at least 100% of the market value of such securities, is continuously maintained by the other party with the Fund. During the pendency of the transaction, the other party will pay the Fund an amount equivalent to any dividends or interest paid on such securities, and the Fund may invest the cash collateral and earn additional income, or it may receive an agreed upon amount of interest income from the other party who has delivered equivalent collateral. These transactions are subject to termination at the option of the Fund or the other party. The Fund may pay administrative and custodial fees in connection with these transactions and may pay a negotiated portion of the interest earned on the cash or equivalent collateral to the other party or placing agent or broker. Although voting rights or rights to consent with respect to the relevant securities generally pass to the other party, the Fund will make arrangements to vote or consent with respect to a material event affecting such securities. The risks in lending portfolio securities include possible delay in recovering or the failure to recover the securities and possible loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. The Fund runs the risk that the counterparty to a loan transaction will default on its obligation and that the value of the collateral received may decline before the Fund can dispose of it. If the Fund receives cash as collateral and invests that cash, the Fund is subject to the risk that the collateral will decline in value before the Fund must return it to the counterparty. Subject to the foregoing, loans of fund securities are effectively borrowings by the Fund and have economic characteristics similar to reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund does not currently intend to engage in securities lending, although it may engage in transactions (such as reverse repurchase agreements) which have similar characteristics.

 

44


Structured Notes and Related Instruments

“Structured” notes and other related instruments, including indexed securities, are derivative debt instruments, the interest rate or principal of which is determined by an unrelated underlying instrument (for example, a currency, security, commodity or index thereof). Structured instruments are generally privately negotiated debt obligations issued by corporations, including banks, as well as by governmental agencies and frequently are assembled in the form of medium-term notes, but a variety of forms are available and may be used in particular circumstances. The terms of such structured instruments normally provide that their principal and/or interest payments are to be adjusted upwards or downwards (but ordinarily not below zero) to reflect changes in the underlying instrument while the instruments are outstanding. As a result, the interest and/or principal payments that may be made on a structured product may vary widely. The rate of return on structured notes may be determined by applying a multiplier to the performance or differential performance of the underlying instrument or other asset(s). Application of a multiplier involves leverage that will serve to magnify the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Investment in indexed securities and structured notes involves certain risks, including the credit risk of the issuer and the normal risks of price changes in response to changes in interest rates. Further, in the case of certain indexed securities or structured notes, a decline in the underlying instrument may cause the interest rate to be reduced to zero, and any further declines in the underlying instrument may then reduce the principal amount payable on maturity. Finally, these securities may have lower liquidity than other types of securities and may be more volatile than their underlying instruments. Subordinated “structured” notes, which are subordinated to the right of payment of another class of the structured note, typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated “structured” notes.

U.S. Government Securities

U.S. Government securities include (1) U.S. Treasury bills (maturity of one year or less), U.S. Treasury notes (maturity of one to ten years) and U.S. Treasury bonds (maturities generally greater than ten years); (2) obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities which are supported by any of the following: (a) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government (such as certificates issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”)); (b) the right of the issuer to borrow an amount limited to a specific line of credit from the U.S. Government (such as obligations of the Federal Home Loan Banks); (c) the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of agencies or instrumentalities (such as securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association); or (d) only the credit of the agency or instrumentality (such as securities issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation); and (3) obligations issued by non-governmental entities (like financial institutions) that carry direct guarantees from U.S. government agencies as part of government initiatives in response to a market crisis or otherwise. Agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. Government include but are not limited to: Farmers Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Federal Housing Administration, Federal Land Banks, Federal Financing Bank, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Farm Credit Bank System, Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Federal National Mortgage Association, General Services Administration, Government National Mortgage Association, Student Loan Marketing Association, United States Postal Service, Maritime Administration, Small Business Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, Washington D.C. Armory Board and any other instrumentality established or sponsored by the U.S. Government.

In the case of obligations not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the Fund must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitments. Neither the U.S. Government nor any of its agencies or instrumentalities guarantees the market value of the securities they issue. Therefore, the market value of such securities will fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates and other factors. In addition, any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. Government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities. From time to time, uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. government to increase the statutory debt ceiling could increase the risk that the U.S. government may default on payments on certain U.S. government securities, cause the credit rating of the U.S. government to be downgraded, increase volatility in the stock and bond markets, result in higher interest rates, reduce prices of U.S. Treasury securities, and/or increase the costs of various kinds of debt. If a U.S. Government-sponsored entity is negatively impacted by legislative or regulatory action (or lack thereof), is unable to meet its obligations, or its creditworthiness declines, the performance of a fund that holds securities of the entity will be adversely impacted.

 

45


Variable and Floating Rate Securities

Variable and floating rate securities provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the obligations. The terms of such obligations provide that interest rates are adjusted periodically based upon an interest rate adjustment index as provided in the respective obligations. The adjustment intervals may be regular, and range from daily up to annually, or may be event-based, such as based on a change in the prime rate.

The Fund may invest in floating rate debt instruments (“floaters”) and engage in credit spread trades. The interest rate on a floater is a variable rate which is tied to another interest rate, such as a corporate bond index or U.S. Treasury bill rate. The interest rate on a floater resets periodically, typically every six months. While, because of the interest rate reset feature, floaters may provide the Fund with a certain degree of protection against rising interest rates, the Fund will participate in any declines in interest rates as well. A credit spread trade is an investment position relating to a difference in the prices or interest rates of two bonds or other securities or currencies, where the value of the investment position is determined by movements in the difference between the prices or interest rates, as the case may be, of the respective securities or currencies.

The Fund may also invest in inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). The interest rate on an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floating rate security may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed rate obligation of similar credit quality.

A floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher degree of leverage inherent in some floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values.

The Fund may also invest in variable amount master demand notes, which permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary in addition to providing for periodic adjustments in the interest rate. The absence of an active secondary market with respect to particular variable and floating rate instruments could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of a variable or floating rate note if the issuer were to default on its payment obligation or during periods that the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights, and the Fund could, for these or other reasons, suffer a loss with respect to such instruments. In determining average-weighted portfolio maturity, an instrument will be deemed to have a maturity equal to either the period remaining until the next interest rate adjustment or the time the Fund can recover payment of principal as specified in the instrument, depending on the type of instrument involved.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

Securities may be purchased on a “when-issued” or “to be announced” or “forward delivery” basis. The payment obligation and the interest rate that will be received on the “when-issued” securities are fixed at the time the buyer enters into the commitment although settlement, i.e., delivery of and payment for the securities, takes place at a later date. In a “to be announced” transaction, the Fund commits to purchase securities for which all specific information is not known at the time of the trade.

Securities purchased on a “when-issued” or “forward delivery” basis are subject to changes in value based upon the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and changes, real or anticipated, in the level of interest rates. The value of these securities experiences appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. Purchasing securities on a “when-issued” or “forward delivery” basis can involve a risk that the yields available in the market on the settlement date may actually be higher or lower than those obtained in the transaction itself.

An increase in the percentage of the Fund’s assets committed to the purchase of securities on a “when-issued” basis may increase the volatility of its net asset value.

Zero Coupon, Pay-In-Kind and Deferred Interest Securities

Zero Coupon Bond. A zero coupon bond is a security that makes no fixed interest payments but instead is sold at a discount from its face value. The bond is redeemed at its face value on the specified maturity date. Zero coupon bonds may be issued as such, or they may be created by a broker who strips the coupons from a bond and separately sells the rights to receive principal and interest. The prices of zero coupon bonds tend to fluctuate more in response to changes in market interest rates than do the prices of interest-paying debt securities with similar maturities. Zero coupon bonds with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance will be treated as debt obligations that are issued originally at a discount for U.S.

 

46


federal income tax purposes. Generally, the original issue discount (“OID”) is treated as interest income and is included in the Fund’s income and required to be distributed by the Fund over the term of the bond, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, upon partial or full repayment or disposition of the bond. The Fund may thus be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash the Fund actually received, and may have to dispose of other securities, including at times when it may be disadvantageous to do so, to generate the cash necessary for the distribution of income attributable to its zero coupon bonds.

Pay-In-Kind Securities. Pay-in-kind securities are bonds which pay interest through the issuance of additional debt or equity securities. Pay-in-kind securities have characteristics similar to those of zero coupon securities, but interest on such securities may be paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash. Similar to zero coupon obligations, pay-in-kind bonds also carry additional risk as holders of these types of securities realize no cash until the cash payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The market price of pay-in-kind bonds is affected by interest rate changes to a greater extent, and therefore tends to be more volatile, than that of securities which pay interest in cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds, current Federal tax law requires the holder of pay-in-kind bonds to accrue income with respect to these securities prior to the receipt of cash payments. To maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid liability for Federal income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to distribute income accrued with respect to these securities and may have to dispose of portfolio securities under disadvantageous circumstances in order to generate cash to satisfy these distribution requirements.

Deferred Interest Bonds. Deferred interest bonds are debt obligations that generally provide for a period of delay before the regular payment of interest begins and that are issued at a significant discount from face value. The original discount approximates the total amount of interest the bonds will accrue and compound over the period until the first interest accrual date at a rate of interest reflecting the market rate of the security at the time of issuance. Although this period of delay is different for each deferred interest bond, a typical period is approximately one-third of the bond’s term to maturity. Such investments benefit the issuer by mitigating its initial need for cash to meet debt service, but some also provide a higher rate of return to attract investors who are willing to defer receipt of such cash.

Zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and deferred interest securities may be subject to greater fluctuation in value and lesser liquidity in the event of adverse market conditions than comparably rated securities paying cash interest at regular interest payment periods.

 

47


MANAGEMENT

Directors and Officers

The business and affairs of the Fund are conducted by management under the supervision and subject to the direction of its Board. The business address of each Director (including each Independent Director) is c/o Jane Trust, Franklin Templeton, 100 International Drive, 11th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. The tables below provide information about each of the Directors and officers of the Corporation.

Independent Directors#:

 

Name and

Year of Birth

   Position(s) with
Corporation
  

Term of Office*

and Length of

Time Served**

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During

the Past Five Years

  

Number of
Funds in the
Legg Mason
Funds
Complex
Overseen

by Director***

  

Other Board Memberships

Held by Director During the

Past Five Years

Robert Abeles, Jr.

Born 1945

   Director    Since 2013    Board Member of Excellent Education Development (since 2012); Senior Vice President Emeritus (since 2016) and formerly, Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer (2009 to 2016) at University of Southern California; and formerly, Board Member of Great Public Schools Now (2018 to 2022)    51    None

Jane F. Dasher

Born 1949

   Director    Since 1999    Director (since 2022) and formerly, Chief Financial Officer, Long Light Capital, LLC, formerly known as Korsant Partners, LLC (a family investment company) (since 1997)    51    Formerly, Director, Visual Kinematics, Inc. (2018 to 2022)

Anita L. DeFrantz

Born 1952

   Director    Since 1998    President of Tubman Truth Corp. (since 2015); Vice President (since 2017), Member of the Executive Board (since 2013) and Member of the International Olympic Committee (since 1986); and President Emeritus (since 2015) and formerly, President (1987 to 2015) and Director (1990 to 2015) of LA84 (formerly Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles)    51    None

Susan B. Kerley

Born 1951

   Director    Since 1992    Investment Consulting Partner, Strategic Management Advisors, LLC (investment consulting) (since 1990)    51    Director and Trustee (since 1990) and Chairman (since 2017 and 2005 to 2012) of various series of MainStay Family of Funds (66 funds); formerly, Chairman of the Independent Directors Council (2012 to 2014); ICI Executive Committee (2011 to 2014); and Investment Company Institute (ICI) Board of Governors (2006 to 2014)

 

48


Michael Larson

Born 1959

   Director    Since 2004    Chief Investment Officer for William H. Gates III (since 1994)±    51    Ecolab Inc. (since 2012); Fomento Economico Mexicano, SAB (since 2011); Republic Services, Inc. (since 2009); and formerly, AutoNation, Inc. (2010 to 2018)

Avedick B. Poladian

Born 1951

   Director    Since 2007    Director and Advisor (since 2017) and formerly, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (2002 to 2016) of Lowe Enterprises, Inc. (privately held real estate and hospitality firm); and formerly, Partner, Arthur Andersen, LLP (1974 to 2002)    51    Public Storage (since 2010); Occidental Petroleum Corporation (since 2008); and formerly, California Resources Corporation (2014 to 2021)

William E.B. Siart

Born 1946

  

Director and

Chairman of the Board

   Since 1997    Chairman of Excellent Education Development (since 2000); formerly, Chairman of Great Public Schools Now (2015 to 2020); Trustee of The Getty Trust (2005 to 2017); and Chairman of Walt Disney Concert Hall, Inc. (1998 to 2006)    51    Trustee, University of Southern California (since 1994); and formerly, Member of Board of United States Golf Association, Executive Committee Member (2017 to 2021)

Jaynie Miller Studenmund

Born 1954

   Director    Since 2004    Corporate Board Member and Advisor (since 2004); formerly, Chief Operating Officer of Overture Services, Inc. (publicly traded internet company that created search engine marketing) (2001 to 2004); President and Chief Operating Officer, PayMyBills (internet innovator in bill presentment/payment space) (1999 to 2001); and Executive vice president for consumer and business banking for three national financial institutions (1984 to 1997)    51    Director of Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. and Pacific Premier Bank (since 2019); Director of EXL (operations management and analytics company) (since 2018); formerly, Director of LifeLock, Inc. (identity theft protection company) (2015 to 2017); Director of CoreLogic, Inc. (information, analytics and business services company) (2012 to 2021); and Director of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (gaming and hospitality company) (2012 to 2018)

Peter J. Taylor

Born 1958

   Director    Since 2019    Retired; formerly, President, ECMC Foundation (nonprofit organization) (2014 to 2023); and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for University of California system (2009 to 2014)    51    Director of 23andMe, Inc. (genetics and health care services company) (since 2021); Director of Pacific Mutual Holding Company (since 2016); Ralph M. Parson Foundation (since 2015); Edison International (since 2011); formerly, Member of the Board of Trustees of California State University system (2015 to 2022); and Kaiser Family Foundation (2012 to 2022)

Interested Director:

Ronald L. Olson‡

Born 1941

   Director    Since 2005   

Partner of Munger, Tolles &

Olson LLP (a law partnership) (since 1968)

   51    Director of Provivi, Inc. (since 2017); and Director of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (since 1997)

 

49


Interested Director and Officer:

Jane Trust, CFA†

Born 1962

  

Director, President and

Chief Executive Officer

   Since 2015    Senior Vice President, Fund Board Management, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Officer and/or Trustee/Director of 127 funds associated with LMPFA or its affiliates (since 2015); President and Chief Executive Officer of LMPFA (since 2015); formerly, Senior Managing Director (2018 to 2020) and Managing Director (2016 to 2018) of Legg Mason & Co., LLC (“Legg Mason & Co.”); and Senior Vice President of LMPFA (2015)    127    None

 

#

Directors who are not “interested persons” of the Corporation within the meaning of Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act.

*

Each Director serves until his or her respective successor has been duly elected and qualified or until his or her earlier death, resignation, retirement or removal.

**

Indicates the earliest year in which the Director became a board member for a fund in the Legg Mason Funds complex.

***

Information is for the calendar year ended December 31, 2022, except as otherwise noted.

±

Mr. Larson is the chief investment officer for William H. Gates III and in that capacity oversees the non-Microsoft investments of Mr. Gates and all the investments of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust (such combined investments are referred to as the “Accounts”). Since 1997, Western Asset has provided discretionary investment advice with respect to one or more Accounts. Since December 31, 2020, at no time did the value of those investment portfolios exceed 1.0% of Western Asset’s total assets under management. No changes to these arrangements are currently contemplated.

Western Asset and its affiliates provide investment advisory services with respect to registered investment companies sponsored by an affiliate of Pacific Mutual Holding Company (“Pacific Holdings”). Affiliates of Pacific Holdings receive compensation from LMPFA or its affiliates for shareholder or distribution services provided with respect to registered investment companies for which Western Asset or its affiliates serve as investment adviser.

Mr. Olson is an “interested person” of the Corporation, as defined in the 1940 Act, because his law firm has provided legal services to Western Asset.

Ms. Trust is an “interested person” of the Corporation, as defined in the 1940 Act, because of her position with LMPFA and/or certain of its affiliates.

 

50


Officers:

 

Name, Year of

Birth

and Address

  Position(s) with Corporation   

Term of Office*

and Length of

Time Served**

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During the Past Five Years

Ted P. Becker

Born 1951

Franklin Templeton

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

 

Chief Compliance Officer

   Since 2019    Vice President, Global Compliance of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Chief Compliance Officer of LMPFA (since 2006); Chief Compliance Officer of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2006); formerly, Director of Global Compliance at Legg Mason (2006 to 2020); Managing Director of Compliance of Legg Mason & Co. (2005 to 2020)

Christopher Berarducci

Born 1974

Franklin Templeton

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

 

Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer

   Since 2019    Vice President, Fund Administration and Reporting, Franklin Templeton (since 2020), Treasurer (since 2010) and Principal Financial Officer (since 2019) of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates; formerly, Managing Director (2020), Director (2015 to 2020), and Vice President (2011 to 2015) of Legg Mason & Co.

Marc A. De Oliveira

Born 1971

Franklin Templeton

100 First Stamford Place

6th Floor

Stamford, CT 06902

 

Secretary and Chief Legal Officer

   Since 2020    Associate General Counsel of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Assistant Secretary of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2006); formerly, Managing Director (2016 to 2020) and Associate General Counsel of Legg Mason & Co. (2005 to 2020)

Jeanne Kelly

Born 1951

Franklin Templeton

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

 

Senior Vice President

   Since 2007    U.S. Fund Board Team Manager, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Senior Vice President of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2007); Senior Vice President of LMPFA (since 2006); President and Chief Executive Officer of LM Asset Services, LLC (“LMAS”) and Legg Mason Fund Asset Management, Inc. (“LMFAM”) (formerly registered investment advisers) (since 2015); formerly, Managing Director of Legg Mason & Co. (2005 to 2020), and Senior Vice President of LMFAM (2013 to 2015)

Susan Kerr

Born 1949

Franklin Templeton

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

 

Chief Anti-Money

Laundering

Compliance

Officer

   Since 2013    Senior Compliance Analyst, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Chief Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2013) and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer (since 2012), Senior Compliance Officer (since 2011) and Assistant Vice President (since 2010) of the Distributor; formerly, Assistant Vice President of Legg Mason & Co. (2010 to 2020)

Thomas C. Mandia

Born 1962

Franklin Templeton

100 First Stamford Place

6th Floor

Stamford, CT 06902

 

Senior Vice President

   Since 2020    Senior Associate General Counsel to Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Secretary of LMPFA (since 2006); Assistant Secretary of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2006); Secretary of LMAS (since 2002) and LMFAM (formerly registered investment advisers) (since 2013); formerly, Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel of Legg Mason & Co. (2005 to 2020)

 

*

Each officer serves until his or her respective successor has been duly elected and qualified or until his or her earlier death, resignation, retirement or removal.

**

Indicates the earliest year in which the officer took such office.

 

51


Qualifications of Directors, Board Leadership Structure and Oversight and Standing Committees

The Board believes that each Director’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills on an individual basis and in combination with those of its other Directors lead to the conclusion that the Board possesses the requisite skills and attributes. The Board believes that the Directors’ abilities to review, critically evaluate, question and discuss information provided to them; to interact effectively with the Manager, the Subadviser, other service providers, counsel and independent auditors; and to exercise effective business judgment in the performance of their duties serves to support this conclusion. The Board has considered the following experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, among others, of its members in reaching its conclusion: his or her character and integrity; such person’s length of service as a board member of certain Funds; such person’s willingness to serve and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of a Director; as to each Director other than Mr. Olson and Ms. Trust, his or her status as not being an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Corporation. In addition, the following specific experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills apply as to each Director: Mr. Abeles, business, accounting and finance expertise and experience as a chief financial officer, board member and/or executive officer of various businesses and other organizations; Ms. Dasher, experience as a chief financial officer of a private investment company; Ms. DeFrantz, business expertise and experience as a president, board member and/or executive officer of various businesses and non-profit and other organizations; Ms. Kerley, investment consulting experience and background and mutual fund board experience; Mr. Larson, portfolio management expertise and experience as a board member of various businesses and other organizations; Mr. Poladian, business, finance and accounting expertise and experience as a board member of various businesses and/or as a partner of a multi-national accounting firm; Mr. Siart, business and finance expertise and experience as a president, chairperson, chief executive officer and/or board member of various businesses and non-profit and other organizations; Ms. Studenmund, business and finance expertise and experience as a president, board member and/or chief operating officer of various businesses; Mr. Olson, business and legal expertise and experience as a partner of a law firm and/or board member of various businesses and non-profit and other organizations; Mr. Taylor, business and finance expertise and experience as a chief financial officer, president and/or board member of various businesses and non-profit organizations; and Ms. Trust, investment management and risk oversight experience as an executive and portfolio manager and leadership roles within Legg Mason and affiliated entities. References to the qualifications, attributes and skills of Directors are pursuant to requirements of the SEC, do not constitute holding out of the Board or any Director as having any special expertise or experience, and shall not impose any greater responsibility or liability on any such person or the Board by reason thereof.

The Board is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Fund. Ms. Trust and Mr. Olson are each interested persons of the Fund. Independent Directors constitute more than 75% of the Board. Mr. Siart, who is not an interested person of the Fund, serves as Chair of the Board (since 1997).

The Board has four standing committees: the Audit Committee, Governance and Nominating Committee (referred to as the Governance Committee), Executive and Contracts Committee (referred to as the Contracts Committee) and Investment and Performance Committee (referred to as the Performance Committee). Each of the Audit, Governance, Contracts and Performance Committees is chaired by an Independent Director and each (other than the Performance Committee) is composed of all the Independent Directors. Where deemed appropriate, the Board constitutes ad hoc committees.

The Contracts Committee, which consists of Messrs. Abeles, Larson, Poladian, Siart and Taylor and Mses. Dasher, DeFrantz, Kerley and Studenmund, may meet from time to time between Board meetings in order to consider appropriate matters and to review the various contractual arrangements between the Corporation and its affiliated persons.

The Audit Committee, which consists of Messrs. Abeles, Larson, Poladian, Siart and Taylor and Mses. Dasher, DeFrantz, Kerley and Studenmund, provides oversight with respect to the accounting and financial reporting and compliance policies and practices of the Fund and, among other things, considers the selection of an independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund and the scope of the audit and approves all services proposed to be performed by the independent registered public accounting firm on behalf of the Fund and, under certain circumstances, the Subadviser and certain affiliates.

The Governance Committee, which consists of Messrs. Abeles, Larson, Poladian, Siart and Taylor and Mses. Dasher, DeFrantz, Kerley and Studenmund, meets to select nominees for election as Directors of the Corporation and consider other matters of Board policy, including to review and make recommendations to the Board with respect to the compensation of the Independent Directors. It is the policy of the Governance and Nominating Committee to consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Shareholders of the Corporation who wish to recommend a nominee to the Governance Committee of a Corporation should send recommendations to the Secretary of the Corporation that include all information relating to such person

 

52


that is required to be disclosed in solicitations of proxies for the election of Directors. Such a recommendation must be accompanied by a written consent of the individual to stand for election if nominated by the Board and to serve if elected by the shareholders of the Corporation. The procedures by which shareholders of the Corporation can submit nominee recommendations to the Governance Committee of the Corporation are set forth in Appendix C to the SAI.

The Performance Committee, which consists of Messrs. Abeles, Larson, Poladian, Olson, Siart and Taylor and Mses. Dasher, DeFrantz, Kerley, Studenmund and Trust, is charged with, among other things, reviewing investment performance.

The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate given the business and nature of the Fund. In connection with its determination, the Board considered that the Chairman of the Board is an Independent Director. The Chairman of the Board can play an important role in setting the agenda of the Board and also serves as a key point person for dealings between management and the other Independent Directors. The Independent Directors believe that the Chairman’s independence facilitates meaningful dialogue between Fund management and the Independent Directors. The Board also considered that the chairperson of each Board committee is an Independent Director, which yields similar benefits with respect to the functions and activities of the various Board committees (e.g., each committee’s chairperson works with the Manager and other service providers to set agendas for the meetings of the applicable Board committees). As noted above, through the committees the Independent Directors consider and address important matters involving the Fund, including those presenting conflicts or potential conflicts of interest for management. The Independent Directors also regularly meet outside the presence of management and are advised by independent legal counsel. The Board has determined that its committees help ensure that the Fund has effective and independent governance and oversight. The Board also believes that its leadership structure, in which the Chair of the Board is not affiliated with Legg Mason, is appropriate. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Directors from management, including the Subadviser. The Board reviews its structure on an annual basis.

As an integral part of its responsibility for oversight of the Fund in the interests of shareholders, the Board oversees risk management of the Fund’s investment programs and business affairs. The function of the Board with respect to risk management is one of oversight not active involvement in, or coordination of, day-to-day risk management activities for the Fund. The Board has emphasized to the Fund’s Manager and Subadviser the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management. The Board exercises oversight of the risk management process primarily through the Performance Committee, the Audit Committee and the Contracts Committee, and through oversight by the Board itself.

The Fund faces a number of risks, such as investment risk, counterparty risk, valuation risk, reputational risk, risk of operational failure or lack of business continuity, and legal, compliance and regulatory risk. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Fund. Under the overall supervision of the Board or the applicable committee, the Fund, the Manager, the Subadviser, and the affiliates of the Manager and the Subadviser, or other service providers to the Fund employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various of those possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur.

Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks. Various personnel, including the Fund’s and the Manager’s CCO and the Manager’s chief risk officer, as well as various personnel of the Subadviser and other service providers such as the Fund’s independent accountants, also make periodic reports to the Performance Committee, Contracts Committee, Audit Committee and/or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management, as well as events and circumstances that have arisen and responses thereto.

These reports and other similar reports received by the Directors as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund’s goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the Board met 6 times. The Committees of the Board met as follows: the Audit Committee met 5 times, the Governance and Nominating Committee met 3 times, the Investment and Performance Committee met 5 times, and the Executive and Contracts Committee met 2 times.

 

53


Director Ownership of Securities

As indicated above, the Board members are recently elected to the Board. All members of the Board have served previously on boards overseeing funds in the Legg Mason Funds complex.

The following tables show the dollar range of equity securities owned by the Directors in the Fund and other investment companies in the Legg Mason Funds complex overseen by the Directors as of December 31, 2022.

 

     Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Fund ($)
        

Name of Director                    

   Core Bond Fund      Core Plus Bond
Fund
     Inflation Indexed
Plus Bond Fund
     Aggregate Dollar Range
of Equity Securities in
All Registered
Investment Companies
in Legg Mason Funds
Complex Overseen by
Director ($)
 

Independent Directors:

           

Robert Abeles, Jr.

     None        None        None        None  

Jane F. Dasher

     10,001 to 50,000        10,001 to 50,000        None        Over 100,000  

Anita L. DeFrantz

     None        None        None        10,001 to 50,000  

Susan B. Kerley

     None        None        Over 100,000        Over 100,000  

Michael Larson

     None        None        None        Over 100,000  

Avedick B. Poladian

     None        None        None        Over 100,000  

William E. B. Siart

     None        None        None        Over 100,000  

Jaynie Miller Studenmund

     None        None        None        Over 100,000  

Peter J. Taylor

     None        Over 100,000        None        Over 100,000  

Interested Directors:

           

Ronald L. Olson

     None        None        None        Over 100,000  

Jane Trust

     None        50,001 to 100,000        None        Over 100,000  

As of December 31, 2022, none of the Independent Directors or their immediate family members owned beneficially or of record any securities of the Manager, the Subadviser, or the Distributor of the Fund, or of a person (other than a registered investment company) directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Manager, the Subadviser, or the Distributor of the Fund.

For serving as a Director of the Corporation, each Independent Director receives an annual retainer plus fees for attending each regularly scheduled meeting and special Board meeting they attend in person or by telephone. Each Independent Director is also reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at such meetings. Those Independent Directors who serve in leadership positions of the Board or Board committees receive additional compensation. The Board reviews the level of Director compensation periodically and Director compensation may change from time to time. Ms. Trust, an “interested person” of the Corporation, as defined in the 1940 Act, does not receive compensation from the Fund for her service as Director. Mr. Olson, an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Corporation, receives from Western Asset an annual retainer plus fees for attending each regularly scheduled meeting and special Board meeting he attends in person or by telephone. The Fund pays its pro rata share of the fees and expenses of the Directors based upon asset size.

Officers of the Corporation receive no compensation from the Fund, although they may be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket travel expenses for attending Board meetings.

 

54


Director Compensation

Information regarding compensation paid to the Directors is shown below.

 

    Aggregate Compensation from the Fund*($)              

Name of

Director

  Core Bond Fund   Core Plus Bond
Fund
    Inflation Indexed
Plus Bond Fund
    Total Pension
or
Retirement
Benefits Paid
as Part of
Fund Expenses*
($)
    Total
Compensation
from Legg
Mason
Funds
Complex
Paid to
Director**
($)
 

Independent Directors:

       
Robert Abeles, Jr.   39,863     80,086       234       None       365,000  
Jane F. Dasher   35,932     72,175       211       None       330,000  
Anita L. DeFrantz   38,627     77,600       227       None       348,000  
Susan B. Kerley   38,627     77,600       227       None       354,000  
Michael Larson   35,932     72,175       211       None       330,000  
Avedick B. Poladian   35,932     72,175       211       None       330,000  
William E. B. Siart   49,860     100,202       292       None       454,000  
Jaynie Miller Studenmund   35,932     72,175       211       None       330,000  
Peter J. Taylor   35,932     72,175       211       None       330,000  

Interested Directors:

       
Ronald L. Olson   None     None       None       None       None  
Jane Trust   None     None       None       None       None  

 

*

Information is for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.

 

**

Information is for the calendar year ended December 31, 2022.

 

Mr. Olson and Ms. Trust are not compensated by the Corporation for their services as Directors because of their affiliations with Western Asset and the Manager, respectively.

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AND SERVICE PROVIDER INFORMATION

Manager

The Manager, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, serves as investment manager to the Fund and provides administrative and certain oversight services to the Fund, pursuant to an investment management agreement (the “Management Agreement”). The Manager has offices at 280 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 10017 and also serves as the investment manager of other Legg Mason Funds. The Manager is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, a Delaware corporation. Franklin Resources, whose principal executive offices are at One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, California 94403, is a global investment management organization operating, together with its subsidiaries, as Franklin Templeton.

The Manager has agreed, under the Management Agreement, subject to the supervision of the Board, to provide the Fund with investment research, advice, management and supervision, furnish a continuous investment program for the Fund’s portfolio of securities and other investments consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives, policies and restrictions, and place orders pursuant to its investment determinations. The Manager is permitted to enter into contracts with subadvisers or subadministrators, subject to the Board’s approval. The Manager has entered into subadvisory agreements, as described below.

 

55


Under the Management Agreement, the Manager is responsible, subject to the general supervision of the Board, for the management of the Corporation’s assets, including the responsibility for making decisions and placing orders to buy, sell or hold a particular security, consistent with the investment objectives and policies described in the Prospectus and this SAI. As indicated below, certain of these responsibilities have been delegated to the other Subadvisers. The Manager also is responsible for the compensation of Directors and officers of the Corporation who are employees of the Manager or its affiliates. The Manager receives for its services a fee as set forth below. As noted below, the Manager has delegated responsibility for the selection of the Corporation’s investments to the Subadvisers.

The Management Agreement will continue in effect for its initial term and thereafter from year to year, provided continuance is specifically approved at least annually (a) by the Board or by a 1940 Act Vote, and (b) in either event, by a majority of the Independent Directors, with such Independent Directors casting votes in person at a meeting called for such purpose.

The Management Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable with respect to the Fund at any time without penalty by vote of the Board, by vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities, or by the Manager, on not less than 60 days’ written notice to the Corporation and may be terminated immediately upon the mutual written consent of the Manager and the Corporation.

Under the Management Agreement, the Manager will not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the fund in connection with the performance of the Management Agreement, except a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on its part in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by it of its obligations or duties thereunder.

For its services under the Fund’s Management Agreement, the Manager receives an investment management fee that is calculated daily and payable monthly at an annual rate according to the following schedule:

 

        Fund        

 

    Average Daily Net Assets    

       Investment Management Fee Rate    
(% of Average Daily Net Assets)

 

  Core Bond Fund

 

 

First $500 million

 

  

 

0.450

 

 

Next $500 million

 

   0.425

 

    Over $1 billion    0.400
  Core Plus Bond Fund   First $500 million    0.450
  Next $500 million    0.425
    Over $1 billion    0.400

 

  Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

 

 

N/A

  

 

0.20

The table below sets forth the management fees paid by the Fund to the Manager (waived/reimbursed amounts are in parentheses), with respect to the fiscal periods indicated:

 

Fund                            

    For the Fiscal Period Ended  
December 31,
  Gross
Management
Fees ($)
  Management Fees
Waived/Expenses
Reimbursed ($)
  Net Management
Fees (After
Waivers/Expense
Reimbursements) ($)
Core Bond Fund1   2022   66,541,004   (9,320,488)   57,220,516
  2021   83,216,706   (11,302,553)   71,914,153
  2020   67,200,775   (10,226,256)   56,974,519

 

56


Core Plus Bond Fund2   2022   131,849,035   (16,243,053)   115,605,982
  2021   163,683,075   (17,536,231)   146,146,844
  2020   137,658,361   (17,213,801)   120,444,560
Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund   2022   206,170   (24,202)   181,968
  2021   663,304   (2,711)   660,593
  2020   938,332   (4,480)   933,852

 

1 

For the fiscal periods ended December 31, 2021 and 2022, the Manager recaptured $136,383 and $30,869, respectively, of fees that were previously waived and/or reimbursed.

 

2 

For the fiscal period ended December 31, 2021, the Manager recaptured $3,285 of fees that were previously waived and/or reimbursed.

Any expense limitation arrangements in place during the Fund’s past three fiscal periods can be found in the Fund’s Prospectus in effect (as amended or supplemented from time to time) for such year.

Subadviser

Western Asset, organized under the laws of the State of California, serves as the subadviser to the Fund. Western Asset has offices at 385 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91101 and 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10018.

Western Asset Management Company Limited (“Western Asset Limited”), organized under the laws of the United Kingdom, serves as subadviser to the Fund. Western Asset Limited has offices at 10 Exchange Square, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EN.

Western Asset Management Company Pte. Ltd. (“Western Asset Singapore”), organized under the laws of Singapore, serves as subadviser to Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund. Western Asset Singapore has offices at 1 George Street #23-01, Singapore 049145.

Western Asset Management Company Ltd (“Western Asset Japan”), organized under the laws of Japan, serves as subadviser to Core Plus Bond Fund and Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund. Western Asset Japan has offices at 36F Shin-Marunouchi Building, 5-1 Marunouchi 1-Chome Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-6536, Japan.

Each Subadviser serves as subadviser pursuant to an advisory agreement (the “Advisory Agreements”).

Each of Western Asset, Western Asset Limited, Western Asset Japan and Western Asset Singapore is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources.

Under the Advisory Agreement with Western Asset, Western Asset is responsible, subject to the general supervision of the Board and the Manager, for the actual management of the Fund’s assets, including the responsibility for making decisions and placing orders to buy, sell or hold a particular security, consistent with the investment objectives and policies described in the Prospectus and this SAI. Western Asset receives from the Manager for its services an advisory fee as described in the Prospectus.

Under the Advisory Agreement with each of Western Asset Limited, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan, each Subadviser shall as requested by the Manager regularly provide the Fund with investment research, advice, management and supervision and shall furnish a continuous investment program for the Fund, consistent with the investment objectives, restrictions and policies described in the Prospectus and this SAI. Each of Western Asset Limited, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan receives from the Manager for its services to the Fund an advisory fee as described in the Prospectus.

Each Advisory Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable with respect to the Fund at any time without penalty by vote of the Corporation’s Board, by vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities, or by

 

57


the Subadviser, on not less than 60 days’ notice, and may be terminated immediately upon the mutual written consent of the parties.

Under each Advisory Agreement, the Subadviser will not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Fund in connection with the performance of each Advisory Agreement, except a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on its part in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by it of its obligations or duties thereunder.

Western Asset Limited, Western Asset Japan and Western Asset Singapore provide certain subadvisory services relating to currency transactions and investments in non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities and related foreign currency instruments. Western Asset Limited generally manages global and non-U.S. dollar fixed-income mandates, Western Asset Japan generally manages Japanese fixed-income mandates and Western Asset Singapore generally manages Asian (other than Japan) fixed-income mandates. Each office provides services relating to relevant portions of Western Asset’s broader portfolios as appropriate.

Western Asset, Western Asset Japan and Western Asset Singapore undertake investment-related activities including investment management, research and analysis, and securities settlement.

Expenses

In addition to amounts payable under the Management Agreement and the 12b-1 Plan (as discussed in this SAI), the Fund is responsible for its own expenses, including, among other things: interest; taxes; governmental fees; voluntary assessments and other expenses incurred in connection with membership in investment company organizations; organizational costs of the Fund; costs (including interest, brokerage commissions, transaction fees or charges or acquired fund fees and expenses, if any) in connection with the purchase or sale of the Fund’s securities and other investments and any losses in connection therewith; fees and expenses of custodians, transfer agents, registrars, independent pricing vendors or other agents; legal expenses; loan commitment fees; expenses relating to the issuance and redemption or repurchase of the Fund’s shares and servicing shareholder accounts; expenses of registering and qualifying the Fund’s shares for sale under applicable federal and state law; expenses of preparing, setting in print, printing and distributing prospectuses and statements of additional information and any supplements thereto, reports, proxy statements, notices and dividends to the Fund’s shareholders; costs of stationery; website costs; costs of meetings of the Board or any committee thereof, meetings of shareholders and other meetings of the Fund; Board fees; audit fees; travel expenses of officers, Directors and employees of the Fund, if any; the Fund’s pro rata portion of premiums on any fidelity bond and other insurance covering the Fund and its officers, Directors and employees; and litigation expenses and any non-recurring or extraordinary expenses as may arise, including, without limitation, those relating to actions, suits or proceedings to which the Fund is a party and any legal obligation which the Fund may have to indemnify the Fund’s Directors and officers with respect thereto.

Management may agree to implement an expense cap, waive fees and/or reimburse operating expenses for one or more classes of shares. Any such expense caps, waived fees and/or reimbursed expenses are described in the Fund’s Prospectus. The expense caps, waived fees and/or reimbursed expenses do not cover extraordinary expenses, such as (a) any expenses or charges related to litigation, derivative actions, demands related to litigation, regulatory or other government investigations and proceedings, “for cause” regulatory inspections and indemnification or advancement of related expenses or costs, to the extent any such expenses are considered extraordinary expenses for the purposes of fee disclosure in Form N-1A as the same may be amended from time to time; (b) transaction costs (such as brokerage commissions and dealer and underwriter spreads) and taxes; (c) other extraordinary expenses as determined for the purposes of fee disclosure in Form N-1A, as the same may be amended from time to time; and (d) any other exclusions enumerated in the Fund’s particular expense cap. Without limiting the foregoing, extraordinary expenses are generally those that are unusual or expected to recur only infrequently, and may include such expenses, by way of illustration, as (i) expenses of the reorganization, restructuring, redomiciling or merger of the Fund or class or the acquisition of all or substantially all of the assets of another fund or class; (ii) expenses of holding, and soliciting proxies for, a meeting of shareholders of the Fund or class (except to the extent relating to routine items such as the election of Directors or the approval of the independent registered public accounting firm); and (iii) expenses of converting to a new custodian, transfer agent or other service provider, in each case to the extent any such expenses are considered extraordinary expenses for the purposes of fee disclosure in Form N-1A as the same may be amended from time to time. In order to implement an expense limitation, the Manager will, as necessary, waive management fees or reimburse operating expenses. However, the Manager is permitted to recapture amounts waived and/or reimbursed to a class within two years after the fiscal year in which the Manager

 

58


earned the fee or incurred the expense if the class’ total annual fund operating expenses have fallen to a level below the class’ expense limitation shown in the Fund’s Prospectus. In no case will the Manager recapture any amount that would result, on any particular business day of the Fund, in the class’ total annual fund operating expenses exceeding such expense limitation or any other lower limit then in effect. These arrangements may be reduced or terminated under certain circumstances.

Investment Professionals

Other Accounts Managed by the Investment Professionals

The table below identifies the investment professionals, the number of accounts (other than the Fund) for which the investment professionals have day-to-day management responsibilities and the total assets in such accounts, within each of the following categories: registered investment companies, other pooled investment vehicles, and other accounts. For each category, the number of accounts and total assets in the accounts where fees are based on performance are also indicated, as applicable. Unless noted otherwise, all information is provided as of December 31, 2022.

 

    Investment
    Professionals    
      

Type of

Account

   Number of
Accounts
Managed
   Total
Assets
Managed
(Billions)
($)
   Number of
Accounts Managed
for which Advisory
Fee is
Performance-
Based
   Assets Managed for
which Advisory Fee is
Performance-Based
(Billions) ($)
Core Bond Fund         
  John Bellows         Registered Investment Companies   

22

  

38.53

   None   

None

     Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    22    10.93    None    None
     Other Accounts    179    55.08    6    4.02
  S. Kenneth   Leech      Registered Investment Companies   

94

  

132.80

  

None

  

None

    

 

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

  

 

316

  

 

70.47

  

 

26

  

 

2.74

    

 

Other Accounts

  

 

638

  

 

177.25

  

 

26

  

 

15.16

  Mark S.   Lindbloom      Registered Investment Companies   

27

  

42.98

  

None

   None
     Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    28    13.76    None    None

 

59


   Other Accounts    200    61.09    8    6.26
  Frederick R.   Marki    Registered Investment Companies   

26

  

40.11

   None   

None

  

 

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

  

 

25

  

 

13.31

  

 

None

  

 

None

  

 

Other Accounts

  

 

189

  

 

59.22

  

 

8

  

 

6.26

  Julien A.   Scholnick    Registered Investment Companies   

24

  

41.93

   None   

None

   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    21    10.88    None    None
   Other Accounts    175    54.15    6    4.02
Core Plus Bond Fund
  John Bellows    Registered Investment Companies   

22

  

26.08

   None   

None

   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    22    10.93    None    None
   Other Accounts    179    55.08    6    4.02
  S. Kenneth   Leech    Registered Investment Companies   

94

  

120.35

  

None

  

None

   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    316    70.47    26    2.74
   Other Accounts    638    177.25    26    15.16

 

60


  Mark S.   Lindbloom    Registered Investment Companies   

27

  

30.53

  

None

   None
   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    28    13.76    None    None
   Other Accounts    200    61.09    8    6.26
  Frederick R.   Marki    Registered Investment Companies   

26

  

27.66

  

None

  

None

  

 

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

  

 

25

  

 

13.31

  

 

None

  

 

None

  

 

Other Accounts

  

 

189

  

 

59.22

  

 

8

  

 

6.26

  Julien A.   Scholnick    Registered Investment Companies   

24

  

29.48

   None   

None

   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    21    10.88    None    None
   Other Accounts    175    54.15    6    4.02
Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund
  S. Kenneth   Leech    Registered Investment Companies   

94

  

146.89

  

None

  

None

   Other Pooled Investment Vehicles    316    70.47    26    2.74
   Other Accounts    638    177.25    26    15.16
  Frederick R.   Marki    Registered Investment Companies   

26

  

54.20

   None   

None

  

 

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

  

 

25

  

 

13.31

  

 

None

  

 

None

   Other Accounts    189    59.22    8    6.26

 

61


Investment Professionals Securities Ownership

The table below identifies ownership of equity securities of the Fund by the investment professionals responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund as of December 31, 2022.

 

    Investment Professionals                            

  

Dollar Range of Ownership of Securities ($)

  Core Bond Fund

 

John Bellows

S. Kenneth Leech

Mark S. Lindbloom

Frederick R. Marki

Julien A. Scholnick

  

None

None

None

None

None

  Core Plus Bond Fund

 

John Bellows

S. Kenneth Leech

Mark S. Lindbloom

Frederick R. Marki

Julien A. Scholnick

  

None

None

None

None

None

  Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

 

K. Kenneth Leech

Frederick R. Marki

  

None

None

Conflicts of Interest

The Subadviser has adopted compliance policies and procedures to address a wide range of potential conflicts of interest that could directly impact client portfolios. For example, potential conflicts of interest may arise in connection with the management of multiple portfolios (including portfolios managed in a personal capacity). These could include potential conflicts of interest related to the knowledge and timing of a portfolio’s trades, investment opportunities and broker selection. Portfolio managers are privy to the size, timing, and possible market impact of a portfolio’s trades.

It is possible that an investment opportunity may be suitable for both a portfolio and other accounts managed by a portfolio manager, but may not be available in sufficient quantities for both the portfolio and the other accounts to participate fully. Similarly, there may be limited opportunity to sell an investment held by a portfolio and another account. A conflict may arise where the portfolio manager may have an incentive to treat an account preferentially as compared to a portfolio because the account pays a performance-based fee or the portfolio manager, the Subadviser or an affiliate has an interest in the account. The Subadviser has adopted procedures for allocation of portfolio transactions and investment opportunities across multiple client accounts on a fair and equitable basis over time. Eligible accounts that can participate in a trade generally share the same price on a pro-rata allocation basis, taking into account differences based on factors such as cash availability, investment restrictions and guidelines, and portfolio composition versus strategy.

With respect to securities transactions, the Subadviser determines which broker or dealer to use to execute each order, consistent with their duty to seek best execution of the transaction. However, with respect to certain other accounts (such as pooled investment vehicles that are not registered investment companies and other accounts managed for organizations and

 

62


individuals), the Subadviser may be limited by the client with respect to the selection of brokers or dealers or may be instructed to direct trades through a particular broker or dealer. In these cases, trades for a portfolio in a particular security may be placed separately from, rather than aggregated with, such other accounts. Having separate transactions with respect to a security may temporarily affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the possible detriment of a portfolio or the other account(s) involved. Additionally, the management of multiple portfolios and/or other accounts may result in a portfolio manager devoting unequal time and attention to the management of each portfolio and/or other account. The Subadviser’s team approach to portfolio management and block trading approach seeks to limit this potential risk.

The Subadviser also maintains a gift and entertainment policy to address the potential for a business contact to give gifts or host entertainment events that may influence the business judgment of an employee. Employees are permitted to retain gifts of only a nominal value and are required to make reimbursement for entertainment events above a certain value. All gifts (except those of a de minimis value) and entertainment events that are given or sponsored by a business contact are required to be reported in a gift and entertainment log which is reviewed on a regular basis for possible issues.

Employees of the Subadviser have access to transactions and holdings information regarding client accounts and the Subadviser’s overall trading activities. This information represents a potential conflict of interest because employees may take advantage of this information as they trade in their personal accounts. Accordingly, the Subadviser maintains a Code of Ethics that is compliant with Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act to address personal trading. In addition, the Code of Ethics seeks to establish broader principles of good conduct and fiduciary responsibility in all aspects of the Subadviser’s business. The Code of Ethics is administered by the Legal and Compliance Department and monitored through the Subadviser’s compliance monitoring program.

The Subadviser may also face other potential conflicts of interest with respect to managing client assets, and the description above is not a complete description of every conflict of interest that could be deemed to exist. The Subadviser also maintains a compliance monitoring program and engages independent auditors to conduct a SOC1/ISAE 3402 audit on an annual basis. These steps help to ensure that potential conflicts of interest have been addressed.

Investment Professional Compensation

With respect to the compensation of the Fund’s investment professionals, the Subadviser’s compensation system assigns each employee a total compensation range, which is derived from annual market surveys that benchmark each role with its job function and peer universe. This method is designed to reward employees with total compensation reflective of the external market value of their skills, experience and ability to produce desired results. Standard compensation includes competitive base salaries, generous employee benefits and a retirement plan.

In addition, the Subadviser’s employees are eligible for bonuses. These are structured to closely align the interests of employees with those of the Subadviser, and are determined by the professional’s job function and pre-tax performance as measured by a formal review process. All bonuses are completely discretionary. The principal factor considered is an investment professional’s investment performance versus appropriate peer groups and benchmarks (i.e., a securities index and with respect to the Fund, the benchmark set forth in the Fund’s Prospectus to which the Fund’s average annual total returns are compared or, if none, the benchmark set forth in the Fund’s annual report). Performance is reviewed on a 1, 3 and 5 year basis for compensation—with 3 and 5 years having a larger emphasis. The Subadviser may also measure an investment professional’s pre-tax investment performance against other benchmarks, as it determines appropriate. Because investment professionals are generally responsible for multiple accounts (including the Fund) with similar investment strategies, they are generally compensated on the performance of the aggregate group of similar accounts, rather than a specific account. Other factors that may be considered when making bonus decisions include client service, business development, length of service to the Subadviser, management or supervisory responsibilities, contributions to developing business strategy and overall contributions to the Subadviser’s business.

Finally, in order to attract and retain top talent, all investment professionals are eligible for additional incentives in recognition of outstanding performance. These are determined based upon the factors described above and include long-term incentives that vest over a set period of time past the award date.

 

63


Custodian and Transfer Agent

The Fund has entered into an agreement with The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, to serve as custodian of the Fund. BNY Mellon, among other things, maintains a custody account or accounts in the name of the Fund, receives and delivers all assets for the Fund upon purchase and upon sale or maturity, collects and receives all income and other payments and distributions on account of the assets of the Fund and makes disbursements on behalf of the Fund. BNY Mellon neither determines the Fund’s investment policies nor decides which securities the Fund will buy or sell. For its services, BNY Mellon receives a monthly fee based upon the daily average market value of securities held in custody and also receives securities transaction charges, including out-of-pocket expenses. The Fund may also periodically enter into arrangements with other qualified custodians with respect to certain types of securities or other transactions such as repurchase agreements or derivatives transactions. BNY Mellon may also act as the Fund’s securities lending agent and in that case would receive a share of the income generated by such activities.

Franklin Templeton Investor Services, LLC (“Investor Services”) is the Fund’s shareholder servicing agent and acts as the Fund’s transfer agent and dividend-paying agent. Investor Services is located at 3344 Quality Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-7313. Please send all correspondences relating to the Fund to Investor Services at P.O. Box 33030, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-8030.

Investor Services receives a fee for servicing Fund shareholder accounts. The Fund also will reimburse Investor Services for certain out-of-pocket expenses necessarily incurred in servicing the shareholder accounts in accordance with the terms of its servicing contract with the Fund.

In addition, Investor Services may make payments (or cause payments to be made) to financial intermediaries that provide administrative services to defined benefit plans. Investor Services does not seek reimbursement by the Fund for such payments.

For all classes of shares of the Fund, except for Class IS shares, Investor Services may also pay servicing fees, that will be reimbursed by the Fund, in varying amounts to certain financial institutions (to help offset their costs associated with client account maintenance support, statement preparation and transaction processing) that (i) maintain omnibus accounts with the Fund in the institution’s name on behalf of numerous beneficial owners of Fund shares who are either direct clients of the institution or are participants in an IRS-recognized tax-deferred savings plan (including Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans and Section 529 Plans) for which the institution, or its affiliate, provides participant level recordkeeping services (called “Beneficial Owners”); or (ii) provide support for Fund shareholder accounts by sharing account data with Investor Services through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) networking system. In addition to servicing fees received from the Fund, these financial institutions also may charge a fee for their services directly to their clients. Investor Services will also receive a fee from the Fund (other than for Class IS shares) for services provided in support of Beneficial Owners and NSCC networking system accounts.

Fund Counsel

Ropes & Gray LLP, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, serves as legal counsel to the Corporation and the Fund.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 100 East Pratt Street, Suite 2600, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

Portfolio Transactions

Pursuant to the Subadvisory Agreement and subject to the general supervision of the Board and in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and strategies, the Subadviser is responsible for the execution of the Fund’s portfolio transactions with respect to assets allocated to the Subadviser. The Subadviser is authorized to place orders pursuant to its investment determinations for the Fund either directly with the issuer or with any broker or dealer, foreign currency dealer, futures commission merchant or others selected by it.

 

64


In certain instances, there may be securities that are suitable as an investment for the Fund as well as for one or more of the other clients of the Subadviser. Investment decisions for the Fund and for the Subadviser’s other clients are made with a view to achieving their respective investment objectives. It may develop that a particular security is bought or sold for only one client even though it might be held by, or bought or sold for, other clients. Likewise, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more clients are selling the same security. Some simultaneous transactions are inevitable when several clients receive investment advice from the same investment adviser, particularly when the same security is suitable for the investment objectives of more than one client. When two or more clients are simultaneously engaged in the purchase or sale of the same security, the securities are allocated among clients in a manner believed to be equitable to each. It is recognized that in some cases this system could adversely affect the price of or the size of the position obtainable in a security for the Fund. When purchases or sales of the same security for the Fund and for other portfolios managed by the Subadviser occur contemporaneously, the purchase or sale orders may be aggregated in order to obtain any price advantages available to large volume purchases or sales.

Transactions on stock exchanges and other agency transactions involve the payment of negotiated brokerage commissions by the Fund. Transactions in foreign securities often involve the payment of brokerage commissions that may be higher than those in the United States. Fixed income securities are generally traded on a net basis (i.e., without a commission) through dealers acting as principal for their own account and not as brokers. This means that a dealer makes a market for securities by offering to buy at one price and selling the security at a slightly higher price. The difference between the prices is known as a “spread.” Other portfolio transactions may be executed through brokers acting as agents and the Fund will pay a spread or commission in connection with such transactions. The cost of securities purchased from underwriters includes an underwriting commission, concession or a net price. The Fund may also purchase securities directly from the issuer. The aggregate brokerage commissions paid by the Fund for the three most recent fiscal years or periods, as applicable, are set forth below under “Aggregate Brokerage Commissions Paid.”

Brokerage and Research Services

The general policy of the Subadviser in selecting brokers and dealers is to obtain the best results achievable in the context of a number of factors which are considered both in relation to individual trades and broader trading patterns. The Fund may not always pay the lowest commission or spread available. Rather, in placing orders on behalf of the Fund, the Subadviser also takes into account other factors bearing on the overall quality of execution, such as size of the order, difficulty of execution, the reliability of the broker/dealer, the competitiveness of the price and the commission, the research services received and whether the broker/dealer commits its own capital.

In connection with the selection of such brokers or dealers and the placing of such orders, subject to applicable law, brokers or dealers may be selected who also provide brokerage and research services (as those terms are defined in Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act) to the Fund and/or the other accounts over which the Subadviser or its affiliates exercise investment discretion. The Subadviser is authorized to pay a broker or dealer that provides such brokerage and research services a commission for executing a portfolio transaction for the Fund which is in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting that transaction if the Subadviser determines in good faith that such amount of commission is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided by such broker or dealer. Investment research services include information and analysis on particular companies and industries as well as market or economic trends and portfolio strategy, market quotations for portfolio evaluations, analytical software and similar products and services. If a research service also assists the Subadviser in a non-research capacity (such as bookkeeping or other administrative functions), then only the percentage or component that provides assistance to the Subadviser in the investment decision making process may be paid in commission dollars. This determination may be viewed in terms of either that particular transaction or the overall responsibilities that the Subadviser and its affiliates have with respect to accounts over which they exercise investment discretion. The Subadviser may also have arrangements with brokers pursuant to which such brokers provide research services to the Subadviser in exchange for a certain volume of brokerage transactions to be executed by such brokers. While the payment of higher commissions increases the Fund’s costs, the Subadviser does not believe that the receipt of such brokerage and research services significantly reduces its expenses as Subadviser. Arrangements for the receipt of research services from brokers (so-called “soft dollar” arrangements) may create conflicts of interest. Although the Subadviser is authorized to use soft dollar arrangements in order to obtain research services, it is not required to do so, and the Subadviser may not be able or may choose not to use soft dollar arrangements because of regulatory restrictions, operational considerations or for other reasons.

 

65


Research services furnished to the Subadviser by brokers that effect securities transactions for the Fund may be used by the Subadviser in servicing other investment companies and accounts which the Subadviser manages. Similarly, research services furnished to the Subadviser by brokers that effect securities transactions for other investment companies and accounts which the Subadviser manages may be used by the Subadviser in servicing the Fund. Not all of these research services are used by the Subadviser in managing any particular account, including the Fund.

Firms that provide research and brokerage services to the Subadviser may also promote the sale of the Fund or other pooled investment vehicles advised by the Subadviser, and the Subadviser and/or its affiliates may separately compensate them for doing so. Such brokerage business is placed on the basis of brokerage and research services provided by the firm and is not based on any sales of the Fund or other pooled investment vehicles advised by the Subadviser.

The Fund contemplates that, consistent with the policy of obtaining the best net results, brokerage transactions may be conducted through “affiliated broker/dealers,” as defined in the 1940 Act. The Fund’s Board has adopted procedures in accordance with Rule 17e-1 under the 1940 Act to ensure that all brokerage commissions paid to such affiliates are reasonable and fair in the context of the market in which such affiliates operate. For the three most recent fiscal periods (as applicable), the Fund did not pay any brokerage commission to its affiliates.

Aggregate Brokerage Commissions Paid

The table below shows the aggregate brokerage commissions paid by the Fund during the periods indicated.

 

Fund                                                

     For the Fiscal Period Ended  
December 31,
   Aggregate Brokerage
    Commissions Paid ($)    

Core Bond Fund

   2022*    4,881,754
   2021    2,469,218
   2020    2,320,072

Core Plus Bond Fund

   2022**    11,165,354
   2021    6,692,937
   2020    6,764,988

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

   2022    1,819
   2021    4,868
   2020    10,048

 

*

The increase in aggregate brokerage commissions paid between the fiscal periods December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021 was due to an increase in volatility and cash flow activity in the Fund during the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022.

**

The increase in aggregate brokerage commissions paid between the fiscal periods December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021 was due to an increase in volatility and cash flow activity in the Fund during the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022.

For the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022, the Fund did not direct any brokerage transactions related to research services and did not pay any brokerage commissions related to research services.

Securities of Regular Broker/Dealers

As of December 31, 2022, the value of the Fund’s holdings of the securities of its regular broker/dealers (as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the 1940 Act) were as follows:

 

66


Fund        Broker/Dealer        Type of
Security
Owned
D=Debt
E=Equity
       Market
Value (000’s)
($)
Core Bond Fund      Bank of America Corp.      D      245,381
     Wells Fargo Securities LLC      D      206,308
     Citigroup Global Markets Inc.      D      185,275
     Goldman Sachs & Co.      D      137,445
     JPMorgan Chase & Co.      D      135,411
     Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC      D      80,391
     Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC      D      71,933
     BMO Capital Markets      D      13,138
Core Plus Bond Fund      Bank of America Corp.      D      445,030
     Wells Fargo Securities LLC      D      377,275
     Citigroup Global Markets Inc.      D      359,432
     Goldman Sachs & Co.      D      264,156
     JPMorgan Chase & Co.      D      251,466
     Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC      D      174,642
     BNP Paribas Securities Corp.      D      143,114
     Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC      D      117,895
     BMO Capital Markets      D      28,308

Securities of Regular Broker/Dealers

As of December 31, 2022, Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund did not hold securities issued by its regular broker/dealers (as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the 1940 Act).

Portfolio Turnover

For reporting purposes, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the fiscal year. In determining such portfolio turnover, all securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less are excluded. A 100% portfolio turnover rate would occur, for example, if all of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio (other than short-term money market securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year.

In the event that portfolio turnover increases, this increase necessarily results in correspondingly greater transaction costs which must be paid by the Fund. To the extent the portfolio trading results in recognition of net short-term capital gains, shareholders will generally be taxed on distributions of such gains at ordinary tax rates (except shareholders who invest through IRAs and other retirement plans which are not taxed currently on accumulations in their accounts).

Portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor should the Subadviser deem it advisable to purchase or sell securities.

 

Fund      

For the Fiscal Period Ended        

2022 (%)

     

For the Fiscal Period Ended        

2021 (%)

Core Bond Fund

    64     72

Core Plus Bond Fund

    55     56

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

    39     80

 

67


SHARE OWNERSHIP

Principal Shareholders

As of March 31, 2023, to the knowledge of the Corporation, the following shareholders owned of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the classes of the Fund as set forth below:

 

  Class

      

Name and Address

     

Percent of Class (%)

Core Bond Fund

A

          MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
         31.67

A

     EDWARD D JONES & CO
FOR THE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS
12555 MANCHESTER RD
SAINT LOUIS MO 63131-3729
    21.34

A

     BNY MELLON INVESTMENT SERVICING
(US) INC
FBO PRIMERICA FINANCIAL SERVICES
760 MOORE RD
KING OF PRUSSIA PA 19406-1212
    15.62

A

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    8.64

C

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    20.52

C

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    16.82

C

     WELLS FARGO CLEARING SVCS LLC
2801 MARKET STREET
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63103
    13.78

C

     RAYMOND JAMES
OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
880 CARILLON PKWY
ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1100
    11.35

 

68


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

C

     AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT SVC
707 2ND AVE S
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55402-2405
    6.14

C1

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    75.39

C1

     MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS CLIENTS 401K
8515 E ORCHARD RD 2T2
GREENWOOD VILLAGE CO 80111
    11.26

FI

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    39.31

FI

     CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC
SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO
CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905
    15.95

FI

     TD AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68103-2226
    14.84

I

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    35.31

I

     PERSHING LLC
1 PERSHING PLZ
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0001
    20.28

I

     CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC
SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO
CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905
    9.24

 

69


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

I

     MERRILL LYNCH PIERCE FENNER &
SMITH INC
FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
4800 DEER LAKE DR E
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    7.96

I

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    6.25

IS

     TD AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68103-2226
    14.22

IS

     PERSHING LLC
1 PERSHING PLZ
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0001
    12.01

IS

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    9.39

IS

     CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC
SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO
CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905
    9.23

IS

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    7.99

IS

    

SEI PRIVATE TRUST COMPANY

1 FREEDOM VALLEY DRIVE

OAKS PA 19456

    6.83

R

     STATE STREET BANK AND TRUST TTEE
AND/OR CUSTODIAN
(FBO) ADP ACCESS PRODUCT
1 LINCOLN ST
BOSTON MA 02111-2901
    57.33

 

70


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

Core Plus Bond Fund

        

A

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    16.91

A

     BNY MELLON INVESTMENT SERVICING
(US) INC
FBO PRIMERICA FINANCIAL SERVICES
760 MOORE RD
KING OF PRUSSIA PA 19406-1212
    14.73

A

     PIMS/PRUDENTIAL RETIREMENT
AS NOMINEE FOR THE TTEE/CUST
GREENVILLE HEALTH SYSTEM
701 GROVE ROAD
GREENVILLE SC 29605-5601
    13.17

A

    

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF

OUR CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310

    10.94

A

     EDWARD D JONES & CO
FOR THE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS
12555 MANCHESTER RD
SAINT LOUIS MO 63131-3729
    10.45

A

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    7.81

A

    

PIMS PRUDENTIAL RETIREMENT

AS NOMINEE FOR THE TTEE CUST PL 008

PRISMA HEALTH

300 E MCBEE AVENUE

GREENVILLE SC 29601

    5.65

C

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    26.20

 

71


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

C

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    15.93

C

     DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST
FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS
OMNIBUS
ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK
711 HIGH STREET
DES MOINES, IA 50392
    11.15

C

    

WELLS FARGO CLEARING SVCS LLC
2801 MARKET STREET
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63103

    10.80

C

     RAYMOND JAMES
OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
880 CARILLON PKWY
ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1100
    5.85

C1

    

MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901

    44.40

C1

     UBS WM USA FBO
SPEC CDY A/C EXL BEN CUSTOMERS
OF UBSFSI
1000 HARBOR BLVD
WEEHAWKEN, NJ 07086
    37.72

C1

    

JP MORGAN SECURITIES LLC

OMNIBUS ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE

BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS

3RD FLOOR MUTUAL FUND DEPARTMENT

BROOKLYN NY 11245

    13.82

FI

     CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC
SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO
CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905
    25.58

 

72


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

FI

    

MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS

CUSTOMERS

1 NEW YORK PLZ FL 39

NEW YORK NY 10004

    16.28

FI

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    12.06

FI

    

EMPOWER TRUST

FBO VARIOUS SUNTRUST OMNIBUS ACCOUNTS
8515 E ORCHARD RD 2T2
GREENWOOD VLG CO 80111-5002

    7.64

FI

     TD AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68103-2226
    5.99

I

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    29.44

I

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    19.13

I

    

AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT SVC

707 2ND AVE S
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55402-2405

    11.60

I

    

MERRILL LYNCH PIERCE FENNER &
SMITH INC
FOR THE

SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS

4800 DEER LAKE DR E
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484

    6.81

IS

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    18.70

 

73


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

IS

    

SAXON & CO

P O BOX 94597

CLEVELAND OH 44101

    6.66

R

     SAMMONS RETIREMENT SOLUTION
4546 CORPORATE DR STE 100
WEST DES MOINES IA 50266
    89.10

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

      

A

    

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF

OUR CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310

    16.59

A

     PERSHING LLC
1 PERSHING PLZ
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0001
    16.11

A

     MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC
FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
1 NEW YORK PLAZA FL 12
NEW YORK NY 10004-1901
    12.53

A

     WELLS FARGO CLEARING SVCS LLC
2801 MARKET STREET
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63103
    7.39

A

     RAYMOND JAMES
OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
880 CARILLON PKWY
ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1100
    6.21

A

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    6.12

A

     LPL FINANCIAL
OMNIBUS CUSTOMER ACCOUNT
4707 EXECUTIVE DRIVE
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
    5.60

C

     RAYMOND JAMES
OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
880 CARILLON PKWY
ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1100
    45.02

 

74


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

C

     LPL FINANCIAL
OMNIBUS CUSTOMER ACCOUNT
4707 EXECUTIVE DRIVE
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
    26.33

C

     PERSHING LLC
1 PERSHING PLZ
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0001
    8.22

C1

     LPL FINANCIAL
OMNIBUS CUSTOMER ACCOUNT
4707 EXECUTIVE DRIVE
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
    97.65

FI

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    73.37

FI

     FIIOC FBO
MARIPOSA 401K PLAN
100 MAGELLAN WAY
COVINGTON KY 41015-1987
    19.06

FI

     TD AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68103-2226
    6.51

I

     RAYMOND JAMES
OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
880 CARILLON PKWY
ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1100
    24.67

I

     RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, LLC
MUTUAL FUND OMNIBUS PROCESSING
OMNIBUS ATT MUTL FD OPS MANAGER
510 MARQUETTE AVE SOUTH
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55402-1110
    16.53

I

     PERSHING LLC
1 PERSHING PLZ
JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0001
    13.56

I

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    11.97

 

75


  Class           Name and Address       Percent of Class (%)

I

     CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC
SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO
CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS
211 MAIN STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905
    7.18

IS

     TD AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CLIENTS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68103-2226
    37.12

IS

     CAPINCO C/O US BANK NA
1555 N. RIVERCENTER DRIVE STE. 302
MILWAUKEE WI 53212
    29.98

IS

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SVCS CORP
FOR EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR
CUSTOMERS
499 WASHINGTON BLVD FL 5
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    12.39

R

    

ASCENSUS TRUST COMPANY FBO

INTEGRATED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 401 K

ASCENSUS TRUST COMPANY

PO BOX 10577

FARGO ND 58106

    36.44

R

     CRAIG PHILLIPCH & JAMES PHILLPCT TE
MERIDIAN PLUMBING 401K
C/O FASCORE LLC
8515 E ORCHARD RD 2T2
GREENWOOD VILLAGE CO 80111
    28.60

R

     MLPF&S FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF ITS
CUSTOMERS
ATTN: FUND ADMINISTRATION
4800 DEER LAKE DRIVE EAST 3RD FLOOR
JACKSONVILLE FL 32246-6484
    23.78

R

    

PRINCIPAL TRUST COMPANY

FBO DUTCH VALLEY DEF COMP PLAN 

ATTN PLAN TRUSTEE

1013 CENTRE RD

WILMINGTON DE 19805

    7.78

As of March 31, 2023, to the knowledge of the Corporation, the following shareholders owned of record or beneficially 25% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund as set forth below. Shareholders who beneficially own 25% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund or who are otherwise deemed to “control” the Fund may be able to determine or significantly influence the outcome of matters submitted to a vote of the Fund’s shareholders.

 

76


  Fund        Name and Address       Percent of Fund (%)

Core Bond Fund

     NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
FBO EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUST
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FLOOR
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-2010
    25.52

As of March 31, 2023, the Directors and officers of the Corporation, as a group, owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of each class of the Fund.

DISTRIBUTOR

Franklin Distributors, LLC, an indirect, wholly-owned broker/dealer subsidiary of Franklin Resources, located at 100 International Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, serves as the sole and exclusive distributor of the Fund pursuant to a written agreement (as amended, the “Distribution Agreement”).

Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor is appointed as principal underwriter and distributor in connection with the offering and sale of shares of the Fund. The Distributor offers the shares on an agency or “best efforts” basis under which the Fund issues only the number of shares actually sold. Shares of the Fund are continuously offered by the Distributor.

The Distribution Agreement is renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund if approved (a) by the Board or by a vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities, and (b) by the affirmative vote of a majority of Directors who are not parties to such agreement or interested persons of any party by votes cast in person at a meeting called for such purpose.

The Distribution Agreement is terminable with respect to the Fund without penalty by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, or by the Distributor, on not less than 60 days’ written notice to the other party (unless the notice period is waived by mutual consent). The Distribution Agreement will automatically and immediately terminate in the event of its assignment.

The Distributor may be deemed to be an underwriter for purposes of the 1933 Act. Dealer reallowances, if any, are described in the Fund’s Prospectus.

The Distributor, the Manager, their affiliates and their personnel have interests in promoting sales of the Legg Mason and Franklin Templeton Funds, including remuneration, fees and profitability relating to services to and sales of the funds. Associated persons of the Manager, the Distributor or their affiliates (including wholesalers registered with the Distributor) may receive additional compensation related to the sale of individual Legg Mason and Franklin Templeton Funds or categories of Legg Mason and Franklin Templeton Funds. The Manager, the Subadviser, and their advisory or other personnel may also benefit from increased amounts of assets under management.

Service Agents also may benefit from the sales of shares of funds sold by the Distributor. For example, in connection with such sales, Service Agents may receive compensation from the Fund (with respect to the Fund as a whole or a particular class of shares) and/or from the Manager, the Distributor, and/or their affiliates, as further described below. The structure of these compensation arrangements, as well as the amounts paid under such arrangements, vary and may change from time to time. In addition, new compensation arrangements may be negotiated at any time. The compensation arrangements described in this section are not mutually exclusive, and a single Service Agent may receive multiple types of compensation.

The Distributor has agreements in place with Service Agents defining how much each firm will be paid for the sale of the Fund from sales charges, if any, paid by Fund shareholders and from 12b-1 Plan fees, if any, paid to the Distributor by the Fund. These Service Agents then pay their employees or associated persons who sell such fund shares from the sales charges and/or fees they receive. The Service Agent, and/or its employees or associated persons may receive a payment when a sale is made and will, in most cases, continue to receive ongoing payments while you are invested in the Fund. In other cases, the Distributor may retain all or a portion of such fees and sales charges.

 

77


In addition, the Distributor, the Manager and/or certain of their affiliates may make additional payments (which are often referred to as “revenue sharing” payments) to the Service Agents from their past profits and other available sources, including profits from their relationships with the Fund. Revenue sharing payments are a form of compensation paid to a Service Agent in addition to the sales charges paid by Fund shareholders or 12b-1 Plan fees paid by the Fund. The Manager, the Distributor and/or certain of its affiliates may revise the terms of any existing revenue sharing arrangement and may enter into additional revenue sharing arrangements with other Service Agents.

Revenue sharing arrangements are intended, among other things, to foster the sale of Fund shares and/or to compensate financial services firms for assisting in marketing or promotional activities in connection with the sale of Fund shares. In exchange for revenue sharing payments, the Manager and the Distributor generally expect to receive the opportunity for the Fund to be sold through the Service Agents’ sales forces or to have access to third-party platforms or other marketing programs, including but not limited to mutual fund “supermarket” platforms or other sales programs. To the extent that Service Agents receiving revenue sharing payments sell more shares of the Fund, the Manager and the Distributor and/or their affiliates benefit from the increase in Fund assets as a result of the fees they receive from the Fund. The Distributor, LMPFA or their affiliates consider revenue sharing arrangements based on a variety of factors and services to be provided.

Revenue sharing payments are usually calculated based on a percentage of Fund sales and/or Fund assets attributable to a particular Service Agent. Payments are at times based on other criteria or factors such as, for example, a fee per each transaction. Specific payment formulas are negotiated based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, reputation in the industry, ability to attract and retain assets, target markets, customer relationships and scope and quality of services provided. In addition, the Distributor, the Manager and/or certain of their affiliates may pay flat fees on a one-time or irregular basis for the initial set-up of the Fund on a Service Agent’s systems, participation or attendance at a Service Agent’s meetings, or for other reasons. Furthermore, the Distributor, the Manager and/or certain of their affiliates at times pay certain education and training costs of Service Agents (including, in some cases, travel expenses) to train and educate the personnel of the Service Agents. In addition, the Distributor, the Manager and/or certain of their affiliates at times may provide access to technology and other tools and support services that facilitate the marketing and promotion of investment management portfolios sponsored by Legg Mason, Franklin Templeton and/or their affiliates. It is likely that Service Agents that execute portfolio transactions for the Fund will include those firms with which the Manager, the Distributor and/or certain of their affiliates have entered into revenue sharing arrangements.

The Fund generally pays the transfer agent for certain recordkeeping and administrative services. In addition, the Fund may pay Service Agents for certain recordkeeping, administrative, sub-accounting and networking services. These services include maintenance of shareholder accounts by the firms, such as recordkeeping and other activities that otherwise would be performed by the Fund’s transfer agent. Administrative fees may be paid to a firm that undertakes, for example, shareholder communications on behalf of the Fund. Networking services are services undertaken to support the electronic transmission of shareholder purchase and redemption orders through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). These payments are generally based on either (1) a percentage of the average daily net assets of Fund shareholders serviced by a Service Agent or (2) a fixed dollar amount for each account serviced by a Service Agent. The Distributor, the Manager and/or their affiliates may make all or a portion of these payments.

In addition, the Fund reimburses the Distributor for NSCC fees that are invoiced to the Distributor as the party to the agreement with NSCC for the administrative services provided by NSCC to the Fund and its shareholders. These services include transaction processing and settlement through Fund/SERV, electronic networking services to support the transmission of shareholder purchase and redemption orders to and from Service Agents, and related recordkeeping provided by NSCC to the Fund and its shareholders.

If your Fund shares are purchased through a retirement plan, the Distributor, the Manager or certain of their affiliates at times also make similar payments to those described in this section to the plan’s recordkeeper or an affiliate.

Revenue sharing payments, as well as the other types of compensation arrangements described in this section, create an incentive for Service Agents and their employees or associated persons to recommend the Fund over other investments or sell shares of the Fund to customers and in doing so may create conflicts of interest between the firms’ financial interests and the interests of their customers. The total amount of these payments is substantial, may be substantial to any given recipient and may exceed the costs and expenses incurred by the recipient for any Fund-related marketing or shareholder servicing activities.

 

78


As of December 31, 2022, the Distributor, the Manager or their affiliates made revenue sharing payments to the Service Agents listed below (or their affiliates or successors). It is possible that each Service Agent listed is not receiving payments with respect to each fund sold by the Distributor. This list of intermediaries will change over time, and any additions, modifications or deletions thereto that have occurred since December 31, 2022 are not reflected.

 

Acadia Life Limited

   ADP Retirement Services

Advisor Group Inc.

   Allianz

American Enterprise Investment Services, Inc.

   American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.

American United Life Insurance Company

   Ascensus, Inc.

Aspire Financial Services, LLC

   Avantax Wealth Management

AXA Advisors, LLC

   Axos Financial, Inc

BBVA Securities, Inc.

   Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc.

Benjamin F. Edwards & Company, Inc.

   Brighthouse Financial

Cadaret Grant & Co., Inc.

   CAIS Capital, LLC

Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.

   Cetera Advisor Networks LLC

Cetera Advisors LLC

   Charles Schwab & Co.

Cetera Investment Services LLC

   Cetera Financial Specialists LLC

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

   Citizens Securities, Inc.

Commonwealth Financial Network

   CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.

CUSO Financial Services, L.P.

   Deutsche Bank

Digital Retirement Solutions

   DWC-The 401(K) Experts

E*TRADE Securities LLC.

   Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.

Empower Retirement

   ePlan Services, Inc.

Fidelity Investments Institutional Operations Company, Inc.

   First Allied Securities, Inc.

First Command Financial Planning, Inc.

   FPS Services LLC.

FSC Securities Corporation

   Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Goldman, Sachs & Co,

   Group 4 Financial LLC.

Hantz Financial Services, Inc.

   Investacorp, Inc.

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

   Jefferson National Life Insurance Company

John Hancock Distributors LLC

   JP Morgan Securities LLC

KMS Financial Services, Inc.

   LaSalle St. Securities

Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation

   Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation

Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc.

   Lincoln Retirement Services Company LLC

Lombard International LLC

   LPL Financial

M&T Securities, Inc.

   Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch

   MetLife Insurance Company USA

Midland National Insurance Company

   Minnesota Life Insurance Company

MML Investors Services, LLC

   Morgan Stanley

MSCS Financial Services LLC

   National Security Life and Annuity Company

Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.

   New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation

Northwestern Mutual Investment Svcs LLC

   Ohio National Financial Services

Pacific Life Insurance Company

   Paychex Securities Corporation

Pershing, LLC

   PFS Investments, Inc.

PNC Investments LLC

   Principal Financial Group

Princor Financial Services

   Protective Life Insurance

Prudential Insurance Company of America

   Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

RBC Capital Markets LLC

   Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

Royal Alliance Associates

   SagePoint Financial, Inc.

Sammons Financial Group, Inc.

   Securities America, Inc.

Securities Service Network, Inc.

   Sorrento Pacific Financial, LLC

Stifel Financial Corporation

   Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (US)

TD Ameritrade Trust Company

   TFS Securities, Inc.

 

79


The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc.

  

The Huntington Investment Company

The Investment Center, Inc.

  

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC

TIFIN Wealth

  

Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance Company

U.S. Bancorp Investments

  

UBS Financial Services, Inc.

UnionBanc Investment Services, LLC

  

USI Advisors, Inc.

Valor Financial Securities, LLC

  

Vestwell Holdings, Inc.

Voya Financial Advisors, LLC

  

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Western International Securities, Inc.

  

Woodbury Financial Services, Inc.

The Distributor, the Manager or their affiliates may also pay fees, from their own assets, to Service Agents for providing other distribution-related services as well as recordkeeping, administrative, subaccounting, and networking services (or portions thereof), and other shareholder or administrative services in connection with investments in the Fund. These payments may be considered revenue sharing payments. The Service Agents receiving such payments may not be listed above.

You should assume that your Service Agent receives revenue sharing payments and/or other compensation described in this SAI. Please contact your Service Agent for details about any payments it (and its employees) may receive from the Fund and/or from the Distributor, the Manager and/or their affiliates. You should review your Service Agent’s disclosure and/or talk to your Service Agent to obtain more information on how this compensation may have influenced your Service Agent’s recommendation of the Fund.

Dealer Commissions and Concessions

From time to time, the Distributor or the Manager, at its expense, may provide compensation or promotional incentives (“concessions”) to dealers that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of the Fund or a managed account strategy of which the Fund is part. Such concessions provided by the Distributor or the Manager may include financial assistance to dealers in connection with preapproved conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other employees, payment for travel expenses, including lodging, incurred by registered representatives and other employees for such seminars or training programs, seminars for the public, advertising and sales campaigns regarding one or more funds, and/or other dealer-sponsored events. From time to time, the Distributor or the Manager may make expense reimbursements for special training of a dealer’s registered representatives and other employees in group meetings or to help pay the expenses of sales contests. Other concessions may be offered to the extent not prohibited by applicable laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as the FINRA.

Sales Charges

The following expenses were incurred during the fiscal periods indicated:

Initial Sales Charges

The aggregate dollar amounts of initial sales charges received on Class A shares and the amounts retained by the Distributor were as follows:

Class A Shares

 

Fund

       For the Fiscal Period    
Ended
December 31,
   Total
    Commissions ($)    
   Amounts
Retained by

    Distributor ($)    

Core Bond Fund

   2022    865,507    85,691
   2021    1,435,532    186,931
   2020    1,043,151    115,909

Core Plus Bond Fund

   2022    1,562,038    162,829
   2021    2,784,555    347,688
   2020    2,140,713    238,352

 

80


Inflation Indexed Plus
Bond Fund
   2022    82,307    3,237
   2021    22,817    3,148
   2020    280    370

Contingent Deferred Sales Charges

The aggregate dollar amounts of contingent deferred sales charges on Class A, Class C, and Class C1 shares received and retained by the Distributor were as follows:

Class A Shares

 

Fund

     For the Fiscal Period Ended  
December 31,
    Amounts Retained by 
Distributor ($)

Core Bond Fund

   2022    3,890
   2021    22,801
   2020    3,013

Core Plus Bond Fund

   2022    14,827
   2021    24,543
   2020    25,897

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

   2022    0
   2021    0
   2020    0

Class C Shares

 

Fund

     For the Fiscal Period Ended  
December 31,
    Amounts Retained by 
Distributor ($)

Core Bond Fund

   2022    1,836
   2021    18,194
   2020    15,376

Core Plus Bond Fund

   2022    3,873
   2021    28,028
   2020    38,757

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

   2022    491
   2021    764
   2020    948

 

81


Class C1 Shares

 

Fund

    For the Fiscal Period Ended 
December 31,
   Amounts
Retained by

  Distributor ($)  

Core Bond Fund

   2022    0
   2021    0
   2020    0

Core Plus Bond Fund

   2022    0
   2021    0
   2020    0

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

   2022    0
   2021    0
   2020    0

Services and Distribution Plan

The Corporation, on behalf of the Fund, has adopted a 12b-1 Plan in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. Under the 12b-1 Plan, the Fund may pay monthly fees to the Distributor at up to the annual rates set forth below (as a percentage of the average daily net assets of the Fund attributable to the applicable share class).

 

  Fund/Class

              Rate (%)              

Core Bond Fund

 

Class A

    0.25  

Class C

    1.00  

Class C1

    0.70  

Class FI

    0.25  

Class R

    0.50  

Core Plus Bond Fund

 

Class A

    0.25  

Class C

    1.00  

Class C1

    0.70  

Class FI

    0.25  

Class R

    0.50  

Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund

 

Class A

    0.25  

Class C

    1.00  

Class C1

    0.75  

Class FI

    0.25  

Class R

    0.50  

The Fund will provide the Board with periodic reports of amounts expended under the 12b-1 Plan and the purposes for which such expenditures were made. Fees under the 12b-1 Plan may be used to make payments to the Distributor, Service Agents and other parties with respect to the sale of Fund shares for advertising, marketing or other promotional activity, and payments for preparation, printing, and distribution of prospectuses, statements of additional information and reports for

 

82


recipients other than existing shareholders. The Fund also may make payments to the Distributor, Service Agents and others for providing personal service or the maintenance of shareholder accounts. The amounts paid to each recipient may vary based upon certain factors, including, among other things, the levels of sales of shares and/or shareholder services; provided, however, that the fees paid to a recipient with respect to a particular class that may be used to cover expenses primarily intended to result in the sale of shares of that class, or that may be used to cover expenses primarily intended for personal service and/or maintenance of shareholder accounts, may not exceed the maximum amounts, if any, as may from time to time be permitted for such services under FINRA Conduct Rule 2341 or any successor rule, in each case as amended or interpreted by FINRA.

Since fees paid under the 12b-1 Plan are not tied directly to expenses incurred by the Distributor (or others), the amount of the fees paid by a class of the Fund during any year may be more or less than actual expenses incurred by the Distributor (or others). This type of distribution fee arrangement is characterized by the staff of the SEC as being of the “compensation variety” (in contrast to “reimbursement” arrangements by which a distributor’s payments are directly linked to its expenses). Thus, even if the Distributor’s expenses exceed the fees provided for by the 12b-1 Plan, the Fund will not be obligated to pay more than those fees and, if expenses incurred by the Distributor (or others) are less than the fees paid to the Distributor and others, they will realize a profit.

The 12b-1 Plan recognizes that various service providers to the Fund, such as the Manager, may make payments for distribution, marketing or sales-related expenses out of their own resources of any kind, including profits or payments received from the Fund for other purposes, such as management fees. The 12b-1 Plan provides that, to the extent that such payments might be deemed to be indirect financing of any activity primarily intended to result in the sale of shares of the Fund, the payments are deemed to be authorized by the 12b-1 Plan.

Under its terms, the 12b-1 Plan continues in effect for successive annual periods, provided continuance is specifically approved at least annually by vote of the Board, including a majority of the Independent Directors who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the 12b-1 Plan or in any agreements related to it (“Qualified Directors”). The 12b-1 Plan may not be amended to increase the amount of the service and distribution fees without shareholder approval, and all amendments of the 12b-1 Plan also must be approved by the Directors, including the Qualified Directors, in the manner described above. The 12b-1 Plan may be terminated with respect to a class of the Fund at any time, without penalty, by vote of a majority of the Qualified Directors or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that class (as defined in the 1940 Act).

The following service and distribution fees were incurred by the Fund pursuant to the 12b-1 Plan in effect during the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022:

 

Fund/Class

  

 Service and Distribution Fees Incurred 

($)

  

      Service and Distribution Fees      

Waived/Reimbursed ($)

Core Bond Fund

     

Class A

   1,582,259    0

Class C

   607,768    0

Class C1

   3,421    0

Class FI

   399,444    0

Class R

   134,269    0

Core Plus Bond Fund

     

Class A

   3,710,793    13

Class C

   1,980,443    0

Class C1

   1,247    0

Class FI

   547,068    0

Class R

   1,574,776    0

 

83


Inflation Indexed Plus Bond
Fund
                                                                                               

Class A

   41,014    0

Class C

   16,806    0

Class C1

   185    0

Class FI

   1,535    0

Class R

   459    0

For the fiscal period ended December 31, 2022, the Distributor incurred distribution expenses for advertising, printing and mailing prospectuses, support service and overhead expenses and compensation to Service Agents and third parties as expressed in the following table. The Distributor may have made revenue sharing payments in addition to the expenses shown here.

 

Fund/Class 

   Third Party Fees
($)
   Financial
Consultant
Compensation
(Amortized) ($)
    Marketing ($)       Printing ($)      Total
  Expenses ($)  

 

Core Bond Fund

              

Class A

   1,582,259    111,900    346,647    0    2,040,805

Class C

   607,768    37,696    47,643    0    693,107

Class C1

   3,421    0    317    0    3,738

Class FI

   399,444    0    146,243    0    545,687

Class R

   134,269    0    30,075    0    164,344

Core Plus Bond Fund

              

Class A

   3,710,793    145,700    1,305,162    0    5,161,655

Class C

   1,980,442    101,414    149,490    0    2,231,346

Class C1

   1,247    0    172    0    1,419

Class FI

   547,068    0    254,983    0    802,052

Class R

   1,574,776    0    249,511    0    1,824,287
Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund               

Class A

   41,014    56,618    20,305    0    117,938

Class C

   16,806    3,406    1,539    0    21,751

Class C1

   185    0    203    0    388

Class FI

   1,535    0    347    0    1,882

Class R

   459    0    741    0    1,200

PURCHASE OF SHARES

Purchases of Fund shares are discussed under the “Buying shares” and “Exchanging shares” sections of the Fund’s Prospectus; this information is incorporated herein by reference. See the Fund’s Prospectus for a discussion of which share classes of the Fund are available for purchase, who is eligible to purchase shares of each class, and applicable investment minimums.

 

84


Investors may purchase shares from a Service Agent. However, Service Agents may not offer all classes of shares. In addition, certain investors, including retirement plans purchasing through certain Service Agents, may purchase shares directly from the Fund. When purchasing shares of the Fund, investors must specify the class of shares being purchased. Payment must be made with the purchase order. Service Agents may charge their customers an annual account maintenance fee in connection with a brokerage or other financial account through which an investor purchases or holds shares. Accounts held directly at the transfer agent are not subject to a maintenance fee.

Purchase orders received by the Fund prior to the scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE on any day the Fund calculates its NAV are priced according to the NAV determined on that day (the “trade date”). Orders received by a Service Agent prior to the scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE on any day the Fund calculates its NAV are priced according to the NAV determined on that day, provided the order is transmitted by the Service Agent to the Fund’s transfer agent in accordance with their agreed-upon procedures. See “Valuation of Shares” below for additional information about the NYSE’s holiday schedule. NAV is calculated separately for each share class.

Class A Shares. Class A shares are sold to investors at the public offering price, which is the NAV plus an initial sales charge, as described in the Fund’s Prospectus. The sales charge is waived for shareholders purchasing Class A shares through accounts where the Distributor is the broker-dealer of record (“Distributor Accounts”). Shareholders purchasing Class A shares through certain Service Agents or in certain types of accounts may be eligible for a waiver of the initial sales charge. For more information, see the appendix to the Prospectus titled “Appendix: Waivers and Discounts Available from Certain Service Agents.”

The Distributor and Service Agents may receive a portion of the sales charge as described in the Fund’s Prospectus and may be deemed to be underwriters of the Fund as defined in the 1933 Act. Sales charges are calculated based on the aggregate of purchases of Class A shares of the Fund made at one time by any “person,” which includes an individual and his or her spouse and children, or a trustee or other fiduciary of a single trust estate or single fiduciary account. For additional information regarding sales charge reductions, see “Sales Charge Waivers and Reductions for Class A Shares” below.

Class A Shares. Purchases of Class A shares of $500,000 or more will be made at NAV without any initial sales charge on purchases but are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge on redemptions made within 18 months of purchase (except for purchases made through Distributor Accounts). The contingent deferred sales charge is waived in the same circumstances in which the contingent deferred sales charge applicable to Class C shares is waived. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Provisions” and “Waivers of Contingent Deferred Sales Charge” below.

Class C Shares. Class C shares are not available for purchase through Distributor Accounts. Class C shares are sold at NAV without an initial sales charge on purchases but are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge payable upon certain redemptions. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Provisions.”

Class C1 Shares. Class C1 shares are not available for purchase by new or existing investors (except for certain retirement plan programs authorized by the Distributor prior to August 1, 2012). Class C1 shares will continue to be available for dividend reinvestment and incoming exchanges. Class C1 shares are sold at NAV without an initial sales charge on purchases but are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge payable upon certain redemptions. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Provisions.”

Class D Shares. Class D shares are offered to a limited group of investors who invest in the Fund through certain financial intermediary and retirement plan programs. Service Agents selling Class D shares may in the future discontinue offering Class D shares to clients of financial intermediaries. A Service Agent or financial intermediary may impose investment minimums. For more information about these programs, contact a Service Agent.

Class FI, Class R, Class I and Class IS Shares. Class FI shares are not available for purchase through Distributor Accounts. Class FI, Class R, Class I and Class IS shares are sold at NAV with no initial sales charge on purchases and no contingent deferred sales charge upon redemption.

Class I shares may be purchased directly from the Fund by the following persons: (i) current employees of the Manager and its affiliates; (ii) former employees of the Manager and its affiliates with existing accounts; (iii) current and former board members of investment companies managed by affiliates of Franklin Resources; (iv) current and former board members of Franklin Resources; and (v) the “immediate families” of such persons. “Immediate families” are such person’s spouse (including the surviving spouse of a deceased board member), parents, grandparents, and children and grandchildren (including step-

 

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relationships). For such investors, the minimum initial investment is $1,000 and the minimum for each purchase of additional shares is $50. Current employees may purchase additional Class I shares through a systematic investment plan.

Class IS shares may be purchased only by retirement plans with omnibus accounts held on the books of the Fund, certain rollover IRAs and Institutional Investors, Clients of Eligible Financial Intermediaries and other investors authorized by the Distributor. In order to purchase Class IS shares, an investor must hold its shares in an account that is not subject to payment of fees for recordkeeping services, account servicing, networking, or similar services to Service Agents.

Class 1 Shares. Class 1 shares are closed to all purchases and incoming exchanges. Investors owning Class 1 shares may continue to maintain their then-current Class 1 shares but are no longer permitted to add to their Class 1 share positions, except through reinvestments of dividends.

*    *    *    *    *

Under certain circumstances, an investor who purchases Fund shares pursuant to a fee-based advisory account program of an Eligible Financial Intermediary as authorized by the Distributor may be afforded an opportunity to make a conversion between one or more share classes owned by the investor in the same Fund to Class I shares of that Fund. Such a conversion in these particular circumstances does not cause the investor to realize taxable gain or loss.

For additional information regarding applicable investment minimums and eligibility requirements for purchases of Fund shares, please see the Fund’s Prospectus.

Systematic Investment Plan

Shareholders may make additions to their accounts at any time by purchasing shares through a service known as the Systematic Investment Plan. Under the Systematic Investment Plan, shareholders may arrange for automatic periodic investments of $25 or more in certain share classes by authorizing the Distributor or the transfer agent to charge the shareholder’s account held with a bank or other financial institution, as indicated by the shareholder, to provide for systematic additions to the shareholder’s Fund account. Shareholders have the option of selecting the frequency of the investment as long as the investment equals a minimum of $25 per month. Shareholders may terminate participation in the Systematic Investment Plan at any time without charge or penalty. Additional information is available from the Fund or your Service Agent.

Sales Charge Waivers and Reductions for Class A Shares

Initial Sales Charge Waivers. Purchases of Class A shares may be made at NAV without an initial sales charge in the following circumstances:

 

i.   

sales to (a) current and retired board members, (b) current employees of Franklin Resources and its subsidiaries, (c) the “immediate families” of such persons, as defined above, and (d) a pension, profit-sharing or other benefit plan for the benefit of such persons;

ii.   

sales to employees of certain Service Agents having dealer, service or other selling agreements with the Distributor or otherwise having an arrangement with any such Service Agent with respect to sales of Fund shares, and by the immediate families of such persons or by a pension, profit-sharing or other benefit plan for the benefit of such persons (providing the purchase is made for investment purposes and such securities will not be resold except through redemption or repurchase);

iii.   

offers of Class A shares to any other investment company to effect the combination of such company with the Fund by merger, acquisition of assets or otherwise;

iv.   

purchases by shareholders who have redeemed Class A shares in the Fund (or Class A shares of another fund sold by the Distributor that is offered with a sales charge) and who wish to reinvest their redemption proceeds in the Fund, provided the reinvestment is made within 90 calendar days of the redemption;

v.   

purchases by certain separate accounts used to fund unregistered variable annuity contracts;

vi.   

purchases by investors participating in “wrap fee” or asset allocation programs or other fee-based arrangements sponsored by broker/dealers and other financial institutions that have entered into agreements with the Distributor;

 

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vii.   

purchases by direct retail investment platforms through mutual fund “supermarkets,” where the sponsor links its client’s account (including IRA accounts on such platforms) to a master account in the sponsor’s name;

viii.   

sales through Service Agents who have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts that may or may not charge a transaction fee to their customers;

ix.   

purchases of Class A shares by shareholders investing through Distributor Accounts;

x.   

investors investing through certain retirement plans; and

xi.   

investors who rollover Fund shares from an employer-sponsored retirement plan into an individual retirement account administered on the same retirement plan platform.

In order to obtain such discounts, the purchaser must provide sufficient information at the time of purchase to permit verification that the purchase qualifies for the elimination of the initial sales charge.

All existing retirement plan shareholders who purchased Class A shares at NAV prior to November 20, 2006, are permitted to purchase additional Class A shares at NAV. Certain existing programs for current and prospective retirement plan investors sponsored by Service Agents approved by the Distributor prior to November 20, 2006 will also remain eligible to purchase Class A shares at NAV.

There are several ways you can combine multiple purchases of Class A shares of funds sold by the Distributor or units of a Section 529 college savings plan managed by Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton (a “Section 529 plan”), to take advantage of the breakpoints in the Class A shares sales charge schedule. In order to take advantage of reductions in sales charges that may be available to you when you purchase Fund shares, you must inform your Service Agent or the Fund if you believe you are eligible for a Letter of Intent or a right of accumulation. Whether you purchased shares of funds and/or units of a Section 529 Plan through one or more Service Agents, directly from the Fund or through a combination of the foregoing, it is your responsibility to inform your Service Agent or the Fund if you own shares of other funds or units of a Section 529 plan that you believe are eligible to be aggregated with your purchases. If you do not do so, you may not receive all sales charge reductions for which you are eligible. Account statements may be necessary in order to verify your eligibility for a reduced sales charge.

Accumulation Privilege. The accumulation privilege allows you to combine the dollar amount of your next purchase of Class A shares of the Fund, as applicable, with the current or cost value, whichever is higher, of shares of other funds sold by the Distributor held in Eligible Accounts (as defined below), for purposes of calculating the initial sales charges.

If you hold fund shares or units of a Section 529 plan in accounts at two or more Service Agents, please contact your Service Agents to determine whether your shares or units may be combined.

Shares of certain money market funds sold by the Distributor may be combined for purposes of the accumulation privilege. Please contact your Service Agent or the Fund for additional information.

Certain trustees and other fiduciaries may be entitled to combine accounts in determining their sales charge.

Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent allows you to combine the current or cost value, whichever is higher, of Eligible Fund Purchases in Eligible Accounts with the value that you intend to purchase within the next 13-months, which would, if bought all at once, qualify you for a reduced Class A sales charge. In addition, current holdings under the accumulation privilege (as described above) may be included in the Letter of Intent. See the Fund’s Prospectus for the sales charges and breakpoints applicable to Class A shares of the Fund. Sales charges and breakpoints vary among the funds sold by the Distributor.

Purchases of Class A shares or units of a Section 529 plan may be aggregated for purposes of calculating each breakpoint. You may purchase Class A shares of funds sold by the Distributor or units of a Section 529 plan managed by Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton over a 13-month period and pay the same sales charge, if any, as if all shares or units had been purchased at once.

At the time you enter into a Letter of Intent, you select your asset goal amount. Each time you make a Class A purchase under a Letter of Intent, you will be entitled to pay the sales charge that is applicable to the amount of your asset goal amount. For example, if your asset goal amount is $100,000, any Class A investments you make under a Letter of Intent would be subject to the sales charge of the specific fund you are investing in for purchases of $100,000.

 

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When you enter into a Letter of Intent, you agree to purchase in Eligible Accounts over a 13-month period Eligible Fund Purchases in an amount equal to the asset goal amount you have selected. You may also credit towards your asset goal amount any Eligible Fund Purchases made in Eligible Accounts at any time prior to entering into the Letter of Intent that have not been sold or redeemed, based on the current value or cost value, whichever is higher, of those shares as of the date of calculation. The current value of shares is determined by multiplying the number of shares as of the day prior to your current purchase by their public offering price. The cost value of shares is determined by aggregating the amount of Eligible Fund Purchases in Eligible Accounts (including reinvested dividends and capital gains, but excluding capital appreciation), less any withdrawals, as of the date prior to your current purchase. The cost value of Eligible Fund Purchases in Eligible Accounts, however, may only be aggregated for share purchases that took place within 18 months of the Letter of Intent start date.

Your commitment will be met if at any time during the 13-month period the value, as so determined, of eligible holdings is at least equal to your asset goal amount. All reinvested dividends and distributions on shares acquired under the Letter of Intent will be credited towards your asset goal amount. You may include any Eligible Fund Purchases toward the asset goal amount, including shares of classes other than Class A shares. However, a Letter of Intent will not entitle you to a reduction in the sales charge payable on any shares other than Class A shares, and if any shares, including Class A shares, are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge, you will still be subject to that contingent deferred sales charge with respect to those shares. You must make reference to the Letter of Intent each time you make a purchase under the Letter of Intent.

Eligible Fund Purchases. Eligible Fund Purchases include: (i) any class of shares of any other Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton fund other than shares of such funds offered through separately managed accounts that are managed by Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton; and (ii) units of a Section 529 Plan managed by Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton. Shares of certain money market funds sold by the Distributor may be combined for purposes of the Letter of Intent. Eligible funds may change from time to time, investors should check with their Service Agent to see which funds or Section 529 plans may be eligible.

For purposes of a letter of intent and the accumulation privilege, Legg Mason and Franklin Templeton funds include BrandywineGLOBAL funds, ClearBridge Investments funds, Martin Currie funds, and Western Asset funds. They do not include the funds in the Franklin Templeton Variable Insurance Products Trust, Legg Mason Partners Variable Equity Trust, Legg Mason Partners Variable Income Trust or Legg Mason Partners Money Market Trust (except for shares held in Distributor Accounts). Please contact your Service Agent or the Fund for more information.

Eligible Accounts. Eligible Accounts include shares of Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton funds registered to (or held by a financial intermediary for):

• You, individually;

• Your “family member” defined as your spouse or domestic partner, as recognized by applicable state law, or your children;

• You jointly with one or more family members;

• You jointly with one or more persons who are not family members if that other person has not included the value of the jointly-owned shares for purposes of the accumulation privilege for that person’s separate investments in Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton fund shares;

• A Coverdell Education Savings account for which you or a family member is the identified responsible person;

• A trustee/custodian of an IRA (which includes a Roth IRA and an employer sponsored IRA such as a SIMPLE IRA) or your non-ERISA covered 403(b) plan account, if the shares are registered/recorded under your or a family member’s Social Security number;

• A 529 college savings plan over which you or a family member has investment discretion and control;

• Any entity over which you or a family member has individual or shared authority, as principal, has investment discretion and control (for example, an UGMA/UTMA account for a child on which you or a family member is the custodian, a trust on which you or a family member is the trustee, a business account (not to include retirement plans) for your solely owned business (or the solely owned business of a family member) on which you or a family member is the authorized signer); or

 

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• A trust established by you or a family member as grantor.

You may need to provide certain records, such as account statements, in order to verify your eligibility for reduced sales charges. Contact your Service Agent to see which accounts may be credited toward your asset goal amount. A Letter of Intent is not available to Distributor Accounts.

Increasing the Amount of the Letter of Intent. You may at any time increase your asset goal amount. You must, however, contact your Service Agent, or if you purchase your shares directly through the transfer agent, contact the transfer agent, prior to making any purchases in an amount in excess of your current asset goal amount. Upon such an increase, you will be credited by way of additional shares at the then-current offering price for the difference between:

 

i.   

the aggregate sales charges actually paid for shares already purchased under the Letter of Intent; and

ii.   

the aggregate applicable sales charges for the increased asset goal amount.

However, you must contact your Service Agent before purchasing shares in excess of the asset goal amount as no retroactive adjustments can be made. The 13-month period during which the asset goal amount must be achieved will remain unchanged.

Sales and Exchanges. Shares acquired pursuant to a Letter of Intent, other than Escrowed Shares as defined below, may be redeemed or exchanged at any time, although any shares that are redeemed prior to meeting your asset goal amount will no longer count towards meeting your asset goal amount. However, complete liquidation of purchases made under a Letter of Intent prior to meeting the asset goal amount will result in the cancellation of the Letter of Intent. See “Failure to Meet Asset Goal Amount” below. Exchanges in accordance with the Fund’s Prospectus are permitted, and shares so exchanged will continue to count towards your asset goal amount, as long as the exchange results in an Eligible Fund Purchase.

Cancellation of the Letter of Intent. You may cancel a Letter of Intent by notifying your Service Agent, or if you purchase your shares directly through the transfer agent, by notifying the transfer agent. The Letter of Intent will be automatically cancelled if all shares are sold or redeemed as set forth above. See “Failure to Meet Asset Goal Amount” below.

Escrowed Shares. Shares equal in value to five percent (5%) of your asset goal amount as of the date your Letter of Intent (or the date of any increase in the amount of the Letter of Intent) is accepted will be held in escrow during the term of your Letter of Intent. The Escrowed Shares will be included in the total shares owned as reflected in your account statement and any dividends and capital gains distributions applicable to the Escrowed Shares will be credited to your account and counted towards your asset goal amount or paid in cash upon request. The Escrowed Shares will be released from escrow if all the terms of your Letter of Intent are met.

Failure to Meet Asset Goal Amount. If the total assets under your Letter of Intent within its 13-month term are less than your asset goal amount whether because you made insufficient Eligible Fund Purchases, redeemed all of your holdings or otherwise cancelled the Letter of Intent before reaching your asset goal amount, you will be liable for the difference between: (a) the sales charge actually paid and (b) the sales charge that would have applied if you had not entered into the Letter of Intent. You may, however, be entitled to any breakpoints that would have been available to you under the accumulation privilege. An appropriate number of shares in your account will be redeemed to realize the amount due. For these purposes, by entering into a Letter of Intent, you irrevocably appoint your Service Agent, or if you purchase your shares directly through the transfer agent, the transfer agent, as your attorney-in-fact for the purposes of holding the Escrowed Shares and surrendering shares in your account for redemption. If there are insufficient assets in your account, you will be liable for the difference. Any Escrowed Shares remaining after such redemption will be released to your account.

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Provisions

Class A Shares.

 

   

Class A shares that were purchased without an initial sales charge but are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. A contingent deferred sales charge may be imposed on certain redemptions of these shares. Class A shares that are contingent deferred sales charge shares are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge if redeemed within 18 months of purchase.

 

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Class A shares that are not subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. If Class A shares of the Fund are exchanged for shares of another fund sold by the Distributor that are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge, you may pay a contingent deferred sales charge if the shares acquired by exchange are redeemed within 18 months of purchase.

Class C Shares.

 

   

Class C shares that are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. A contingent deferred sales charge will be imposed if shares are redeemed within 12 months of purchase.

 

   

Class C shares that are not subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. If Class C shares of the Fund are exchanged for shares of another fund sold by the Distributor that are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge, you may pay a contingent deferred sales charge if the shares acquired by exchange are redeemed within 12 months from the date of such exchange.

Class C1 Shares.

 

   

Class C1 shares that are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. A contingent deferred sales charge will be imposed if shares are redeemed within 12 months of purchase. If Class C1 shares of the Fund are exchanged for Class C1 shares (or, if not available, Class C shares) of another fund sold by the Distributor, any contingent deferred sales charge that applies to the Class C1 shares of the other fund will apply to the Class C1 shares (or Class C shares, as applicable) acquired in exchange for the Class C1 shares of the Fund, and that contingent deferred sales charge will be measured from the date the shares exchanged were initially acquired.

 

   

Class C1 shares that are not subject to a contingent deferred sales charge. Class C1 shares of the Fund are not subject to a contingent deferred sales charge, but if Class C1 shares of the Fund are exchanged for Class C1 shares (or, if not available, Class C shares) of another fund sold by the Distributor that are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge, any contingent deferred sales charge that applies to the Class C1 shares of the other fund will apply to the Class C1 shares (or Class C shares, as applicable) acquired in exchange for the Class C1 shares of the Fund, and that contingent deferred sales charge will be measured from the date of such exchange.

Any applicable contingent deferred sales charge will be assessed on the NAV at the time of purchase or redemption, whichever is less.

In determining the applicability of any contingent deferred sales charge, it will be assumed that a redemption is made first of shares representing capital appreciation, next of shares representing the reinvestment of dividends and capital gain distributions, next of shares that are not subject to the contingent deferred sales charge and finally of other shares held by the shareholder for the longest period of time. Unless otherwise noted above, the length of time that contingent deferred sales charge shares acquired through an exchange have been held will be calculated from the date the shares exchanged were initially acquired in one of the other funds sold by the Distributor. For federal income tax purposes, the amount of the contingent deferred sales charge will reduce the gain or increase the loss, as the case may be, on the amount realized on redemption. The Distributor receives contingent deferred sales charges in partial consideration for its expenses in selling shares.

Waivers of Contingent Deferred Sales Charge

The contingent deferred sales charge will be waived on:

 

i.   

exchanges (see “Exchange of Shares”);

ii.   

redemptions through a systematic withdrawal plan, up to 1% monthly, 3% quarterly, 6% semiannually or 12% annually of your account’s net asset value depending on the frequency of your plan (see “Systematic Withdrawal Plan”);

iii.   

redemptions of shares within 12 months following the death or disability (as defined by the Code) of the shareholder;

iv.   

mandatory post-retirement distributions from retirement plans or IRAs commencing on or after attainment of a specific age required by law (except that shareholders of certain retirement plans or IRAs established prior to May 23, 2005 will be eligible to obtain a waiver of the contingent deferred sales charge on all funds held in those accounts at age 59 1/2 and may be required to demonstrate such eligibility at the time of redemption);

v.   

involuntary redemptions;

vi.   

redemptions of shares to effect a combination of the Fund with any investment company by merger, acquisition of assets or otherwise;

 

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vii.   

effective May 1, 2020, on redemptions with respect to investors where the Distributor did not pay the Service Agent a commission;

viii.   

tax-free returns of an excess contribution to any retirement plan;

ix.   

certain redemptions of shares of the Fund in connection with lump-sum or other distributions made by eligible retirement plans or redemption of shares by participants in certain “wrap fee” or asset allocation programs sponsored by broker/dealers and other financial institutions that have entered into agreements with the Distributor or the Manager; and

x.   

Class A shares held through Distributor Accounts.

The contingent deferred sales charge is also waived on Class C and Class C1 shares purchased by retirement plans with omnibus accounts held on the books of the Fund. Different Service Agents may offer different contingent deferred sales charge waivers. For more information, see the appendix to the Prospectus titled “Appendix: Waivers and Discounts Available from Certain Service Agents.”

A shareholder who has redeemed shares from another fund sold by the Distributor may, under certain circumstances, reinvest all or part of the redemption proceeds within 90 days in another fund sold by the Distributor and receive pro rata credit for any contingent deferred sales charge imposed on the prior redemption.

To have a contingent deferred sales charge waived, you or your Service Agent must let the Fund know at the time you redeem shares that you qualify for such a waiver. Contingent deferred sales charge waivers will be granted subject to confirmation by the Distributor or the transfer agent of the shareholder’s status or holdings, as the case may be.

Grandfathered Retirement Program with Exchange Features

Certain retirement plan programs with exchange features in effect prior to November 20, 2006 (collectively, the “Grandfathered Retirement Program”) that are authorized by the Distributor to offer eligible retirement plan investors the opportunity to exchange all of their Class C shares or Class C1 shares, if applicable, for Class A shares of an applicable Legg Mason fund, are permitted to maintain such share class exchange features for current and prospective retirement plan investors.

Under the Grandfathered Retirement Program, Class C shares and Class C1 shares of the Fund may be purchased by plans investing less than $3,000,000. Class C shares and Class C1 shares are eligible for exchange into Class A shares not later than eight years after the plan joins the program. They are eligible for exchange in the following circumstances: For participating plans established with the Fund or another fund in the Legg Mason family of funds (including funds for which LMPFA or any predecessor serves or has served as investment manager or administrator) prior to June 2, 2003, if such plan’s total Class C and Class C1 holdings in all non-money market Legg Mason funds equal at least $1,000,000 at the end of the fifth year after the date the participating plan enrolled in the Grandfathered Retirement Program, the participating plan will be permitted to exchange all of its Class C shares and Class C1 shares for Class A shares of the Fund. For participating plans established with the Fund or another fund in the Legg Mason family of funds (including funds for which LMPFA or any predecessor serves or has served as investment manager or administrator) on or after June 2, 2003, if such plan’s total Class C and Class C1 holdings in all non-money market Legg Mason funds equal at least $3,000,000 at the end of the fifth year after the date the participating plan enrolled in the Grandfathered Retirement Program, the participating plan will be permitted to exchange all of its Class C shares and Class C1 shares for Class A shares of the Fund.

Unless the exchange offer has been rejected in writing, the exchange will automatically occur within approximately 30 days after the fifth anniversary date. If the participating plan does not qualify for the five-year exchange to Class A shares, a review of the participating plan’s holdings will be performed each quarter until either the participating plan qualifies or the end of the eighth year.

Any participating plan that has not previously qualified for an exchange into Class A shares will be offered the opportunity to exchange all of its Class C shares and Class C1 shares for Class A shares of the same fund regardless of asset size at the end of the eighth year after the date the participating plan enrolled in the Grandfathered Retirement Program. Unless the exchange has been rejected in writing, the exchange will automatically occur on or about the eighth anniversary date. Once an exchange has occurred, a participating plan will not be eligible to acquire additional Class C shares and Class C1 shares but instead may acquire Class A shares of the same fund. Any Class C shares and Class C1 shares not converted will continue to be subject to the distribution fee.

 

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For further information regarding the Grandfathered Retirement Program, contact your Service Agent or the transfer agent. Participating plans that enrolled in the Grandfathered Retirement Program prior to June 2, 2003 should contact the transfer agent for information regarding Class C shares and Class C1 shares exchange privileges applicable to their plan.

Determination of Public Offering Price

The Fund offers its shares to the public on a continuous basis. The public offering price for each class of shares of the Fund is equal to the net asset value per share at the time of purchase, plus for Class A shares, an initial sales charge based on the aggregate amount of the investment.

Set forth below is an example of the method of computing the offering price of the Class A shares of the Fund based on the net asset value of a share of the Fund as of December 31, 2022:

Class A

 

     Core Bond Fund    Core Plus Bond Fund    Inflation Indexed Plus Bond Fund
Net Asset Value Per Share ($)    10.58    9.36    9.37
Maximum Initial Sales Charge Percentage (%)    3.75    3.75    3.75
Offering Price ($)    10.99    9.72    9.74

REDEMPTION OF SHARES

Redemptions of Fund shares are discussed under the “Exchanging shares” and “Redeeming shares” sections of the Fund’s Prospectus; this information is incorporated herein by reference.

The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed: