STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

LSV VALUE EQUITY FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVEX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAEX)

 

LSV CONSERVATIVE VALUE EQUITY FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVVX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAVX)

 

LSV SMALL CAP VALUE FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVQX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAQX)

 

LSV U.S. MANAGED VOLATILITY FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVMX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAMX)

 

LSV GLOBAL MANAGED VOLATILITY FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVFX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAFX)

 

LSV GLOBAL VALUE FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVGX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAGX)

 

LSV EMERGING MARKETS EQUITY FUND

(Institutional Class Shares: LSVZX)

(Investor Class Shares: LVAZX)

 

each, a series of THE ADVISORS’ INNER CIRCLE FUND

 

March 1, 2019

 

Investment Adviser:

LSV ASSET MANAGEMENT

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. This SAI is intended to provide additional information regarding the activities and operations of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund (the “Trust”) and the LSV Value Equity Fund, LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund, LSV Small Cap Value Fund, LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund, LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund, LSV Global Value Fund and LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund (each, a “Fund,” and collectively, the “Funds”). This SAI is incorporated by reference into and should be read in conjunction with the Funds’ prospectuses dated March 1, 2019, as they may be amended from time to time (each, a “Prospectus,” and together, the “Prospectuses”). Capitalized terms not defined herein are defined in the Prospectuses. The most recent Annual Reports for the Funds, which include the Funds’ audited financial statements dated October 31, 2018, are incorporated by reference into this SAI. Shareholders may obtain copies of the Prospectuses or Annual Reports, free of charge, by writing to the Funds at LSV Funds, P.O. Box 219009, Kansas City, MO 64121-9009 (Express Mail Address: LSV Funds, c/o DST Systems, Inc., 430 W. 7th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105) or calling the Funds at 1-888-FUND-LSV.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

THE TRUST S-1
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES S-1
DESCRIPTION OF PERMITTED INVESTMENTS S-2
INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS S-22
THE ADVISER S-26
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS S-28
THE ADMINISTRATOR S-30
THE DISTRIBUTOR S-31
PAYMENTS TO FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES S-31
THE TRANSFER AGENT S-33
THE CUSTODIAN S-33
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM S-33
LEGAL COUNSEL S-33
SECURITIES LENDING S-33
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE TRUST S-33
PURCHASING AND REDEEMING SHARES S-44
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE S-44
TAXES S-46
FUND TRANSACTIONS S-52
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS S-55
DESCRIPTION OF SHARES S-56
SHAREHOLDER LIABILITY S-57
LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES’ LIABILITY S-57
PROXY VOTING S-57
CODES OF ETHICS S-57
PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS AND CONTROL PERSONS S-58
APPENDIX A – DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS A-1
APPENDIX B – PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES B-1

 

 

March 1, 2019 LSV-SX-002-2200

 

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THE TRUST

 

General. Each Fund is a separate series of the Trust. The Trust is an open-end investment management company established under Massachusetts law as a Massachusetts voluntary association (commonly known as a business trust) under a Declaration of Trust dated July 18, 1991, as amended and restated February 18, 1997 and amended May 15, 2012 (the “Declaration of Trust”). The Declaration of Trust permits the Trust to offer separate series (“funds”) of shares of beneficial interest (“shares”). The Trust reserves the right to create and issue shares of additional funds. Each fund is a separate mutual fund, and each share of each fund represents an equal proportionate interest in that fund. All consideration received by the Trust for shares of any fund and all assets of such fund belong solely to that fund and would be subject to liabilities related thereto. Each fund of the Trust pays its (i) operating expenses, including fees of its service providers, expenses of preparing prospectuses, proxy solicitation material and reports to shareholders, costs of custodial services and registering its shares under federal and state securities laws, pricing and insurance expenses, brokerage costs, interest charges, taxes and organization expenses, and (ii) pro rata share of the fund’s other expenses, including audit and legal expenses. Expenses attributable to a specific fund shall be payable solely out of the assets of that fund. Expenses not attributable to a specific fund are allocated across all of the funds on the basis of relative net assets. The other funds of the Trust are described in one or more separate statements of additional information.

 

Description of Multiple Classes of Shares. The Trust is authorized to offer shares of the Funds in Institutional Class Shares and Investor Class Shares. The different classes provide for variations in certain distribution expenses and minimum investment requirements. Minimum investment requirements and investor eligibility are described in the Prospectuses. For more information on distribution expenses, see “Payments to Financial Intermediaries” in this SAI. The Trust reserves the right to create and issue additional classes of shares.

 

Voting Rights. Each shareholder of record is entitled to one vote for each share held on the record date for the meeting. Each Fund will vote separately on matters relating solely to it. As a Massachusetts voluntary association, the Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold annual meetings of shareholders. Approval of shareholders will be sought, however, for certain changes in the operation of the Trust and for the election of the Board of Trustees of the Trust (each, a “Trustee” and together, the “Board”) under certain circumstances. Under the Declaration of Trust, the Trustees have the power to liquidate each Fund without shareholder approval. While the Trustees have no present intention of exercising this power, they may do so if a Fund fails to reach a viable size within a reasonable amount of time or for such other reasons as may be determined by the Board.

 

In addition, a Trustee may be removed by the remaining Trustees or by shareholders at a special meeting called upon written request of shareholders owning at least 10% of the outstanding shares of the Trust. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.

 

Any series of the Trust created on or after November 11, 1996 may reorganize or merge with one or more other series of the Trust or of another investment company. Any such reorganization or merger shall be pursuant to the terms and conditions specified in an agreement and plan of reorganization authorized and approved by the Trustees and entered into by the relevant series in connection therewith. In addition, such reorganization or merger may be authorized by vote of a majority of the Trustees then in office and, to the extent permitted by applicable law and the Declaration of Trust, without the approval of shareholders of any series.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

 

Each Fund’s investment objective and principal investment strategies are described in the Prospectuses. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectuses. For a description of certain permitted investments discussed below, see “Description of Permitted Investments” in this SAI.

 

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Each Fund seeks long-term growth of capital. This goal is fundamental, and may not be changed without the consent of shareholders. There can be no assurance that a Fund will be able to achieve its investment objective. Each Fund is classified as a “diversified” investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).

 

Although each Fund will normally be as fully invested as practicable in equity securities, including warrants, rights to purchase common stocks, debt securities convertible into common stocks and preferred stocks, a portion of a Fund’s assets may also be invested in investment grade fixed income securities, cash and money market securities. Investment grade fixed income securities are debt securities that are rated in one of the four highest rating categories (“investment grade”) by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (an “NRSRO”) or that the Funds’ investment adviser, LSV Asset Management (“LSV” or the “Adviser”), determines are of comparable quality. Each Fund may also make limited use of equity index futures contracts for liquidity purposes. In order to generate additional income, each Fund may lend securities that it owns as well as invest in repurchase agreements.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PERMITTED INVESTMENTS

 

The following are descriptions of the permitted investments and the associated risk factors. Each Fund may invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices unless such investment or activity is inconsistent with or is not permitted by its stated investment policies, including those stated below.

 

Equity Securities. Equity securities represent ownership interests in a company and consist of common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants to acquire common stock, and securities convertible into common stock. Investments in equity securities in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities in which the Funds invest will cause the net asset value of the Funds to fluctuate. The Funds purchase equity securities traded in the United States on registered exchanges or the over-the-counter market. Equity securities are described in more detail below:

 

Common Stock. Common stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds and preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.

 

Preferred Stock. Preferred stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer that pays dividends at a specified rate and that has precedence over common stock in the payment of dividends. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds take precedence over the claims of those who own preferred and common stock.

 

Warrants. Warrants are instruments that entitle the holder to buy an equity security at a specific price for a specific period of time. Changes in the value of a warrant do not necessarily correspond to changes in the value of its underlying security. The price of a warrant may be more volatile than the price of its underlying security, and a warrant may offer greater potential for capital appreciation as well as capital loss. Warrants do not entitle a holder to dividends or voting rights with respect to the underlying security and do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuing company. A warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date. These factors can make warrants more speculative than other types of investments.

 

Convertible Securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted or exchanged (by the holder or by the issuer) into shares of the underlying common stock (or cash or securities of equivalent value) at a stated exchange ratio. A convertible security may also be called for redemption or conversion by the issuer after a particular date and under certain circumstances (including a specified price) established upon issue. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption or conversion, the Fund could be required to tender it for redemption, convert it into the underlying common stock, or sell it to a third party.

 

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Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain or loss than common stocks. Convertible securities generally provide yields higher than the underlying common stocks, but generally lower than comparable non-convertible securities. Because of this higher yield, convertible securities generally sell at a price above their “conversion value,” which is the current market value of the stock to be received upon conversion. The difference between this conversion value and the price of convertible securities will vary over time depending on changes in the value of the underlying common stocks and interest rates. When the underlying common stocks decline in value, convertible securities will tend not to decline to the same extent because of the interest or dividend payments and the repayment of principal at maturity for certain types of convertible securities. However, securities that are convertible other than at the option of the holder generally do not limit the potential for loss to the same extent as securities convertible at the option of the holder. When the underlying common stocks rise in value, the value of convertible securities may also be expected to increase. At the same time, however, the difference between the market value of convertible securities and their conversion value will narrow, which means that the value of convertible securities will generally not increase to the same extent as the value of the underlying common stocks. Because convertible securities may also be interest-rate sensitive, their value may increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. Convertible securities are also subject to credit risk, and are often lower-quality securities.

 

Small and Medium Capitalization Issuers. Investing in equity securities of small and medium capitalization companies often involves greater risk than is customarily associated with investments in larger capitalization companies. This increased risk may be due to the greater business risks of smaller size, limited markets and financial resources, narrow product lines and frequent lack of depth of management. The securities of smaller companies are often traded in the over-the-counter market and even if listed on a national securities exchange may not be traded in volumes typical for that exchange. Consequently, the securities of smaller companies are less likely to be liquid, may have limited market stability, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements than securities of larger, more established growth companies or the market averages in general.

 

Foreign Securities

 

Types of Foreign Securities:

 

Foreign securities are debt and equity securities that are traded in markets outside of the U.S. The markets in which these securities are located can be developed or emerging. The Funds can invest in foreign securities in a number of ways, including:

 

The Funds can invest directly in foreign securities denominated in a foreign currency;

 

The Funds can invest in American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”); European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and other similar global instruments; and

 

The Funds can invest in investment funds.

 

American Depositary Receipts. ADRs as well as other “hybrid” forms of ADRs, including EDRs and GDRs are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer. These certificates are issued by depository banks and generally trade on an established market in the United States or elsewhere. A custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer’s home country holds the underlying shares in trust. The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest and corporate actions. ADRs are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign securities in their national markets and currencies. ADRs are subject to many of the risks associated with investing directly in foreign securities. EDRs are similar to ADRs, except that they are typically issued by European banks or trust companies.

 

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ADRs can be sponsored or unsponsored. While these types are similar, there are differences regarding a holder’s rights and obligations and the practices of market participants. A depository may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by (or acquiescence of) the underlying issuer; typically, however, the depository requests a letter of non-objection from the underlying issuer prior to establishing the facility. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of the facility. The depository usually charges fees upon the deposit and withdrawal of the underlying securities, the conversion of dividends into U.S. dollars or other currency, the disposition of non-cash distributions, and the performance of other services. Sponsored depositary receipt facilities are created in generally the same manner as unsponsored facilities, except that sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depository and the underlying issuer through a deposit agreement. The deposit agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of the underlying issuer, the depository, and the depositary receipt holders. With sponsored facilities, the underlying issuer typically bears some of the costs of the depositary receipts (such as dividend payment fees of the depository), although most sponsored depositary receipts holders may bear costs such as deposit and withdrawal fees. Depositories of most sponsored depositary receipts agree to distribute notices of shareholder meetings, voting instructions, and other shareholder communications and information to the depositary receipt holders at the underlying issuer’s request. The depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through, to the holders of the receipts, voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.

 

Emerging Markets. An “emerging market” country is any country that is included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (the "Index") or that is publicly announced to be added to the Index. Typically, emerging markets are in countries that are in the process of industrialization, with lower gross national products (“GNPs”) than more developed countries. There are currently over 150 countries that the international financial community generally considers to be emerging or developing countries, approximately 50 of which currently have stock markets.

 

Sovereign Debt Obligations. Sovereign debt obligations are issued or guaranteed by foreign governments or their agencies. Sovereign debt may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loans or loan participations. Governmental entities responsible for repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and pay interest when due, and may require renegotiation or reschedule of debt payments. In addition, prospects for repayment of principal and payment of interest may depend on political as well as economic factors. Although some sovereign debt, such as Brady Bonds, is collateralized by U.S. government securities, repayment of principal and payment of interest is not guaranteed by the U.S. government.

 

Investment Funds. Some emerging countries currently prohibit direct foreign investment in the securities of their companies. Certain emerging countries, however, permit indirect foreign investment in the securities of companies listed and traded on their stock exchanges through investment funds that they have specifically authorized. Investments in these investment funds are subject to the provisions of the 1940 Act. If a Fund invests in such investment funds, shareholders will bear not only their proportionate share of the expenses of the Fund (including operating expenses and the fees of the Adviser), but also will indirectly bear similar expenses of the underlying investment funds. In addition, these investment funds may trade at a premium over their net asset value.

 

Risks of Foreign Securities:

 

Foreign securities, foreign currencies, and securities issued by U.S. entities with substantial foreign operations may involve significant risks in addition to the risks inherent in U.S. investments.

 

Political and Economic Factors. Local political, economic, regulatory, or social instability, military action or unrest, or adverse diplomatic developments may affect the value of foreign investments. Listed below are some of the more important political and economic factors that could negatively affect an investment in foreign securities:

 

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The economies of foreign countries may differ from the economy of the United States in such areas as growth of GNP, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency, budget deficits and national debt;

 

Foreign governments sometimes participate to a significant degree, through ownership interests or regulation, in their respective economies. Actions by these governments could significantly influence the market prices of securities and payment of dividends;

 

The economies of many foreign countries are dependent on international trade and their trading partners and they could be severely affected if their trading partners were to enact protective trade barriers and economic conditions;

 

The internal policies of a particular foreign country may be less stable than in the United States. Other countries face significant external political risks, such as possible claims of sovereignty by other countries or tense and sometimes hostile border clashes; and

 

A foreign government may act adversely to the interests of U.S. investors, including expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation and other restrictions on U.S. investment. A country may restrict or control foreign investments in its securities markets. These restrictions could limit a Fund’s ability to invest in a particular country or make it very expensive for the Fund to invest in that country. Some countries require prior governmental approval, limit the types or amount of securities or companies in which a foreigner can invest, or may restrict the ability of foreign investors to repatriate their investment income and capital gains.

 

In June 2016, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (“EU”). Although the precise timeframe for “Brexit” is uncertain, the UK formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU by invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in March 2017, and this formal notification began a two-year period of negotiations regarding the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. It is unclear how withdrawal negotiations will be conducted and what the potential consequences may be. In addition, it is possible that measures could be taken to revote on the issue of Brexit, or that portions of the UK could seek to separate and remain a part of the EU. As a result of the political divisions within the UK and between the UK and the EU that the referendum vote has highlighted and the uncertain consequences of a Brexit, the UK and European economies and the broader global economy could be significantly impacted, which may result in increased volatility and illiquidity, and potentially lower economic growth in markets in the UK, Europe and globally that could potentially have an adverse effect on the value of the Funds’ investments.

 

Information and Supervision. There is generally less publicly available information about foreign companies than companies based in the United States. For example, there are often no reports and ratings published about foreign companies comparable to the ones written about U.S. companies. Foreign companies are typically not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. The lack of comparable information makes investment decisions concerning foreign companies more difficult and less reliable than those concerning domestic companies.

 

Stock Exchange and Market Risk. The Adviser anticipates that in most cases an exchange or over-the-counter market located outside of the United States will be the best available market for foreign securities. Foreign stock markets, while growing in volume and sophistication, are generally not as developed as the markets in the United States. Foreign stock markets tend to differ from those in the United States in a number of ways.

 

Foreign stock markets:

 

Are generally more volatile than, and not as developed or efficient as, those in the United States;

 

Have substantially less volume;

 

Trade securities that tend to be less liquid and experience rapid and erratic price movements;

 

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Have generally higher commissions and are subject to set minimum rates, as opposed to negotiated rates;

 

Employ trading, settlement and custodial practices less developed than those in U.S. markets; and

 

May have different settlement practices, which may cause delays and increase the potential for failed settlements.

 

Foreign markets may offer less protection to shareholders than U.S. markets because:

 

Foreign accounting, auditing, and financial reporting requirements may render a foreign corporate balance sheet more difficult to understand and interpret than one subject to U.S. law and standards.

 

Adequate public information on foreign issuers may not be available, and it may be difficult to secure dividends and information regarding corporate actions on a timely basis.

 

In general, there is less overall governmental supervision and regulation of securities exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the United States.

 

Over-the-counter markets tend to be less regulated than stock exchange markets and, in certain countries, may be totally unregulated.

 

Economic or political concerns may influence regulatory enforcement and may make it difficult for shareholders to enforce their legal rights.

 

Restrictions on transferring securities within the United States or to U.S. persons may make a particular security less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions.

 

Foreign Currency Risk. While each Fund denominates its net asset value in U.S. dollars, the securities of foreign companies are frequently denominated in foreign currencies. Thus, a change in the value of a foreign currency against the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding change in value of securities denominated in that currency. Some of the factors that may impair the investments denominated in a foreign currency are:

 

It may be expensive to convert foreign currencies into U.S. dollars and vice versa;

 

Complex political and economic factors may significantly affect the values of various currencies, including the U.S. dollar, and their exchange rates;

 

Government intervention may increase risks involved in purchasing or selling foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts, since exchange rates may not be free to fluctuate in response to other market forces;

 

There may be no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies or regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis;

 

Available quotation information is generally representative of very large round-lot transactions in the inter-bank market and thus may not reflect exchange rates for smaller odd-lot transactions (less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable; and

 

The inter-bank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that a market is closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, certain markets may not always reflect significant price and rate movements.

 

Taxes. Certain foreign governments levy withholding taxes on dividend and interest income. Although in some countries it is possible for a Fund to recover a portion of these taxes, the portion that cannot be recovered will reduce the income the Fund receives from its investments.

 

Emerging Markets. Investing in emerging markets may magnify the risks of foreign investing. Security prices in emerging markets can be significantly more volatile than those in more developed markets, reflecting the greater uncertainties of investing in less established markets and economies. In particular, countries with emerging markets may:

 

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Have relatively unstable governments;

 

Present greater risks of nationalization of businesses, restrictions on foreign ownership and prohibitions on the repatriation of assets;

 

Offer less protection of property rights than more developed countries; and

 

Have economies that are based on only a few industries, may be highly vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions, and may suffer from extreme and volatile debt burdens or inflation rates.

 

Local securities markets may trade a small number of securities and may be unable to respond effectively to increases in trading volume, potentially making prompt liquidation of holdings difficult or impossible at times.

 

Money Market Securities. Money market securities include short-term U.S. government securities; custodial receipts evidencing separately traded interest and principal components of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury; commercial paper rated in the highest short-term rating category by an NRSRO, such as Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service (“S&P”) or Moody’s Investor Service (“Moody’s”), or determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase; short-term bank obligations (certificates of deposit, time deposits and bankers’ acceptances) of U.S. commercial banks with assets of at least $1 billion as of the end of their most recent fiscal year; and repurchase agreements involving such securities. Each of these money market securities are described below. For a description of ratings, see “Appendix A – Description of Ratings” to this SAI.

 

U.S. Government Securities. Each Fund may invest in U.S. government securities. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity. Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (“Farmer Mac”).

 

Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, Ginnie Mae pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by Fannie Mae, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency. Additionally, some obligations are issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, which are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury. While the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. Guarantees of principal by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities may be a guarantee of payment at the maturity of the obligation so that in the event of a default prior to maturity there might not be a market and thus no means of realizing on the obligation prior to maturity. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of these securities nor to the value of the Funds’ shares.

 

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On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the “Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement” or “Agreement”). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth through the end of 2012. The unlimited support the U.S. Treasury extended to the two companies expired at the beginning of 2013 – Fannie Mae’s support is now capped at $125 billion and Freddie Mac has a limit of $149 billion.

 

On August 17, 2012, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was again amending the Agreement to terminate the requirement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each pay a 10% annual dividend. Instead, the companies will transfer to the U.S. Treasury on a quarterly basis all profits earned during a quarter that exceed a capital reserve amount. The capital reserve amount was $3 billion in 2013, and decreased by $600 million in each subsequent year through 2017. It is believed that the new amendment puts Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a better position to service their debt because the companies no longer have to borrow from the U.S. Treasury to make fixed dividend payments. As part of the new terms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also will be required to reduce their investment portfolios over time. On December 21, 2017 the U.S. Treasury announced that it was again amending the Agreement to reinstate the $3 billion capital reserve amount.

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the subject of several continuing class action lawsuits and investigations by federal regulators over certain accounting, disclosure or corporate governance matters, which (along with any resulting financial restatements) may adversely affect the guaranteeing entities. Importantly, the future of the entities is in serious question as the U.S. government reportedly is considering multiple options, ranging from nationalization, privatization, consolidation, or abolishment of the entities.

 

U.S. Treasury Obligations. U.S. Treasury obligations consist of direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury, including Treasury bills, notes and bonds, and separately traded interest and principal component parts of such obligations, including those transferable through the Federal book-entry system known as Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (“STRIPS”). The STRIPS program lets investors hold and trade the individual interest and principal components of eligible Treasury notes and bonds as separate securities. Under the STRIPS program, the principal and interest components are separately issued by the U.S. Treasury at the request of depository financial institutions, which then trade the component parts separately.

 

Commercial Paper. Commercial paper is the term used to designate unsecured short-term promissory notes issued by corporations and other entities. Maturities on these issues vary from a few to 270 days.

 

Obligations of Domestic Banks, Foreign Banks and Foreign Branches of U.S. Banks. The Funds may invest in obligations issued by banks and other savings institutions. Investments in bank obligations include obligations of domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks. Such investments in domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks may involve risks that are different from investments in securities of domestic branches of U.S. banks. These risks may include future unfavorable political and economic developments, possible withholding taxes on interest income, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, currency controls, interest limitations, or other governmental restrictions which might affect the payment of principal or interest on the securities held by the Funds. Additionally, these institutions may be subject to less stringent reserve requirements and to different accounting, auditing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements than those applicable to domestic branches of U.S. banks. Bank obligations include the following:

 

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Bankers’ Acceptances. Bankers’ acceptances are bills of exchange or time drafts drawn on and accepted by a commercial bank. Corporations use bankers’ acceptances to finance the shipment and storage of goods and to furnish dollar exchange. Maturities are generally six months or less.

 

Certificates of Deposit. Certificates of deposit are interest-bearing instruments with a specific maturity. They are issued by banks and savings and loan institutions in exchange for the deposit of funds and normally can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Certificates of deposit with penalties for early withdrawal will be considered illiquid.

 

Time Deposits. Time deposits are non-negotiable receipts issued by a bank in exchange for the deposit of funds. Like a certificate of deposit, it earns a specified rate of interest over a definite period of time; however, it cannot be traded in the secondary market. Time deposits with a withdrawal penalty or that mature in more than seven days are considered to be illiquid investments.

 

Repurchase Agreements. Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with financial institutions in order to increase its income. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which a fund acquires a fixed income security (generally a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance, or a certificate of deposit) from a commercial bank, broker, or dealer, and simultaneously agrees to resell such security to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next business day). Because the security purchased constitutes collateral for the repurchase obligation, a repurchase agreement may be considered a loan that is collateralized by the security purchased. The acquisition of a repurchase agreement may be deemed to be an acquisition of the underlying securities as long as the obligation of the seller to repurchase the securities is collateralized fully. The Funds follow certain procedures designed to minimize the risks inherent in such agreements. These procedures include effecting repurchase transactions only with creditworthy financial institutions whose condition will be continually monitored by the Adviser. The repurchase agreements entered into by the Funds will provide that the underlying collateral at all times shall have a value at least equal to 102% of the resale price stated in the agreement and consist only of securities permissible under Section 101(47)(A)(i) of the Bankruptcy Code (the Adviser monitors compliance with this requirement). Under all repurchase agreements entered into by the Funds, the custodian or its agent must take possession of the underlying collateral. In the event of a default or bankruptcy by a selling financial institution, the Funds will seek to liquidate such collateral. However, the exercising of the Funds’ right to liquidate such collateral could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Funds could suffer a loss. A Fund may enter into “tri-party” repurchase agreements. In “tri-party” repurchase agreements, an unaffiliated third party custodian maintains accounts to hold collateral for the Fund and its counterparties and, therefore, the Fund may be subject to the credit risk of those custodians. It is the current policy of each Fund not to invest in repurchase agreements that do not mature within seven days if any such investment, together with any other illiquid assets held by the Fund, amounts to more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets. The investments of the Funds in repurchase agreements, at times, may be substantial when, in the view of the Adviser, liquidity or other considerations so warrant.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. Reverse repurchase agreements are transactions in which a Fund sells portfolio securities to financial institutions, such as banks and broker-dealers, and agrees to repurchase them at a mutually agreed-upon date and price that is higher than the original sale price. Reverse repurchase agreements are similar to a fully collateralized borrowing by a Fund. At the time a Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will earmark on the books of the Fund or place in a segregated account cash or liquid securities having a value equal to the repurchase price (including accrued interest) and will subsequently monitor the account to ensure that such equivalent value is maintained.

 

Reverse repurchase agreements involve risks. Reverse repurchase agreements are a form of leverage, and the use of reverse repurchase agreements by a Fund may increase the Fund’s volatility. Reverse repurchase agreements are also subject to the risk that the other party to the reverse repurchase agreement will be unable or unwilling to complete the transaction as scheduled, which may result in losses to a Fund. Reverse repurchase agreements also involve the risk that the market value of the securities sold by a Fund may decline below the price at which it is obligated to repurchase the securities. In addition, when a Fund invests the proceeds it receives in a reverse repurchase transaction, there is a risk that those investments may decline in value. In this circumstance, the Fund could be required to sell other investments in order to meet its obligations to repurchase the securities.

 

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Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”). Each Fund may invest in ETFs. ETFs may be structured as investment companies that are registered under the 1940 Act, typically as open-end funds or unit investment trusts. These ETFs are generally based on specific domestic and foreign market securities indices. An “index-based ETF” seeks to track the performance of an index by holding in its portfolio either the contents of the index or a representative sample of the securities in the index. Alternatively, ETFs may be structured as grantor trusts or other forms of pooled investment vehicles that are not registered or regulated under the 1940 Act. These ETFs typically hold commodities, precious metals, currency or other non-securities investments. ETFs, like mutual funds, have expenses associated with their operation, such as advisory and custody fees. When a Fund invests in an ETF, in addition to directly bearing expenses associated with its own operations, including the brokerage costs associated with the purchase and sale of shares of the ETF, the Fund will bear a pro rata portion of the ETF’s expenses. In addition, it may be more costly to own an ETF than to directly own the securities or other investments held by the ETF because of ETF expenses. The risks of owning shares of an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities or other investments held by the ETF, although lack of liquidity in the market for the shares of an ETF could result in the ETF’s value being more volatile than the underlying securities or other investments.

 

Securities of Other Investment Companies. Each Fund may invest in shares of other investment companies, to the extent permitted by applicable law and subject to certain restrictions. These investment companies typically incur fees that are separate from those fees incurred directly by a Fund. A Fund’s purchase of such investment company securities results in the layering of expenses, such that shareholders would indirectly bear a proportionate share of the operating expenses of such investment companies, including advisory fees, in addition to paying the Fund’s expenses. Unless an exception is available, Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act prohibits a fund from (i) acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any one investment company, (ii) investing more than 5% of its total assets in any one investment company, and (iii) investing more than 10% of its total assets in all investment companies combined, including its ETF investments.

 

For hedging or other purposes, a Fund may invest in investment companies that seek to track the composition and/or performance of specific indexes or portions of specific indexes. Certain of these investment companies, known as ETFs, are traded on a securities exchange. (See “Exchange-Traded Funds” above). The market prices of index-based investments will fluctuate in accordance with changes in the underlying portfolio securities of the investment company and also due to supply and demand of the investment company’s shares on the exchange upon which the shares are traded. Index-based investments may not replicate or otherwise match the composition or performance of their specified index due to transaction costs, among other things.

 

Pursuant to orders issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) to certain ETFs and procedures approved by the Board, the Funds may invest in such ETFs in excess of the 3% limitation prescribed by Section 12(d)(1)(A) described above, provided that the Funds otherwise comply with the conditions of the applicable SEC order, as it may be amended, and any other applicable investment limitations. Neither such ETFs nor their investment advisers make any representations regarding the advisability of investing in the ETFs.

 

Securities Lending. The Funds may lend portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial organizations that meet capital and other credit requirements or other criteria established by the Board. These loans, if and when made, may not exceed 33 1/3% of the total asset value of a Fund (including the loan collateral). The Funds will not lend portfolio securities to the Adviser or their affiliates unless permissible under the 1940 Act and the rules and promulgations thereunder. Loans of portfolio securities will be fully collateralized by cash, letters of credit or U.S. government securities, and the collateral will be maintained in an amount equal to at least 100% of the current market value of the loaned securities by marking to market daily. Any gain or loss in the market price of the securities loaned that might occur during the term of the loan would be for the account of the Funds.

 

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The Funds may pay a part of the interest earned from the investment of collateral, or other fee, to an unaffiliated third party for acting as the Funds’ securities lending agent, but will bear all of any losses from the investment of collateral.

 

By lending their securities, the Funds may increase their income by receiving payments from the borrower that reflect the amount of any interest or any dividends payable on the loaned securities as well as by either investing cash collateral received from the borrower in short-term instruments or obtaining a fee from the borrower when U.S. government securities or letters of credit are used as collateral. Investing cash collateral subjects the Funds to market risk. A Fund remains obligated to return all collateral to the borrower under the terms of its securities lending arrangements, even if the value of investments made with the collateral decline. Accordingly, if the value of a security in which the cash collateral has been invested declines, the loss would be borne by a Fund, and the Fund may be required to liquidate other investments in order to return collateral to the borrower at the end of the loan. Each Fund will adhere to the following conditions whenever its portfolio securities are loaned: (i) the Fund must receive at least 100% cash collateral or equivalent securities of the type discussed above from the borrower; (ii) the borrower must increase such collateral whenever the market value of the securities rises above the level of such collateral; (iii) the Fund must be able to terminate the loan on demand; (iv) the Fund must receive reasonable interest on the loan, as well as any dividends, interest or other distributions on the loaned securities and any increase in market value; (v) the Fund may pay only reasonable fees in connection with the loan (which fees may include fees payable to the lending agent, the borrower, the Fund’s administrator and the custodian); and (vi) voting rights on the loaned securities may pass to the borrower, provided, however, that if a material event adversely affecting the investment occurs, the Fund must terminate the loan and regain the right to vote the securities. The Board has adopted procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the foregoing criteria will be met. Loan agreements involve certain risks in the event of default or insolvency of the borrower, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Funds’ ability to recover the loaned securities or dispose of the collateral for the loan, which could give rise to loss because of adverse market action, expenses and/or delays in connection with the disposition of the underlying securities.

 

Derivatives

 

Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is based on an underlying asset (such as a stock or a bond), an underlying economic factor (such as an interest rate) or a market benchmark. Unless otherwise stated in the Prospectuses, the Funds may use derivatives for a number of purposes including managing risk, gaining exposure to various markets in a cost-efficient manner, reducing transaction costs, remaining fully invested and speculating. The Funds may also invest in derivatives with the goal of protecting themselves from broad fluctuations in market prices, interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates (a practice known as “hedging”). When hedging is successful, a Fund will have offset any depreciation in the value of its portfolio securities by the appreciation in the value of the derivative position. Although techniques other than the sale and purchase of derivatives could be used to control the exposure of the Funds to market fluctuations, the use of derivatives may be a more effective means of hedging this exposure. In the future, to the extent such use is consistent with the Funds’ investment objectives and is legally permissible, the Funds may use instruments and techniques that are not presently contemplated, but that may be subsequently developed.

 

There can be no assurance that a derivative strategy, if employed, will be successful. Because many derivatives have a leverage or borrowing component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Accordingly, certain derivative transactions may be considered to constitute borrowing transactions for purposes of the 1940 Act. Such a derivative transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance of a “senior security” by a Fund, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by the Fund, if the Fund covers the transaction or segregates sufficient liquid assets (or such assets are “earmarked” on the Fund’s books) in accordance with the requirements and interpretations of the SEC and its staff. Futures contracts, forward contracts and other applicable securities and instruments that settle physically, and written options on such contracts, will be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when a Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant or other counterparty to off-set the Fund's exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty.

 

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Pursuant to rules adopted under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), a Fund must either operate within certain guidelines and restrictions with respect to the Fund’s use of futures, options on such futures, commodity options and certain swaps, or the Adviser will be subject to registration with the CFTC as a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”).

 

Consistent with the CFTC’s regulations, the Trust, on behalf of the Funds, has filed a notice of exclusion from the definition of the term CPO under the CEA pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5 and, therefore, the Funds are not subject to registration or regulation as CPOs under the CEA. As a result, the Funds will be limited in their ability to use futures, options on such futures, commodity options and certain swaps. Complying with the limitations may restrict the Adviser’s ability to implement the Funds’ investment strategies and may adversely affect the Funds’ performance.

 

Types of Derivatives:

 

Futures. A futures contract is an agreement between two parties whereby one party agrees to sell and the other party agrees to buy a specified amount of a financial instrument at an agreed upon price and time. The financial instrument underlying the contract may be a stock, stock index, bond, bond index, interest rate, foreign exchange rate or other similar instrument. Agreeing to buy the underlying financial instrument is called buying a futures contract or taking a long position in the contract. Likewise, agreeing to sell the underlying financial instrument is called selling a futures contract or taking a short position in the contract.

 

Futures contracts are traded in the United States on commodity exchanges or boards of trade (known as “contract markets”) approved for such trading and regulated by the CFTC. These contract markets standardize the terms, including the maturity date and underlying financial instrument, of all futures contracts.

 

Unlike other securities, the parties to a futures contract do not have to pay for or deliver the underlying financial instrument until some future date (the “delivery date”). Contract markets require both the purchaser and seller to deposit “initial margin” with a futures broker, known as a futures commission merchant or custodian bank, when they enter into the contract. Initial margin deposits are typically equal to a percentage of the contract’s value. Initial margin is similar to a performance bond or good faith deposit on a contract and is returned to the depositing party upon termination of the futures contract if all contractual obligations have been satisfied. After they open a futures contract, the parties to the transaction must compare the purchase price of the contract to its daily market value. If the value of the futures contract changes in such a way that a party’s position declines, that party must make additional “variation margin” payments so that the margin payment is adequate. On the other hand, the value of the contract may change in such a way that there is excess margin on deposit, possibly entitling the party that has a gain to receive all or a portion of this amount. This process is known as “marking to the market.” Variation margin does not represent a borrowing or loan by a party but is instead a settlement between the party and the futures broker of the amount one party would owe the other if the futures contract terminated. In computing daily net asset value, each party marks to market its open futures positions.

 

Although the terms of a futures contract call for the actual delivery of and payment for the underlying security, in many cases the parties may close the contract early by taking an opposite position in an identical contract. If the sale price upon closing out the contract is less than the original purchase price, the party closing out the contract will realize a loss. If the sale price upon closing out the contract is more than the original purchase price, the party closing out the contract will realize a gain. Conversely, if the purchase price upon closing out the contract is more than the original sale price, the party closing out the contract will realize a loss. If the purchase price upon closing out the contract is less than the original sale price, the party closing out the contract will realize a gain.

 

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A Fund may incur commission expenses when it opens or closes a futures position.

 

Options. An option is a contract between two parties for the purchase and sale of a financial instrument for a specified price (known as the “strike price” or “exercise price”) at any time during the option period. Unlike a futures contract, an option grants a right (not an obligation) to buy or sell a financial instrument. Generally, a seller of an option can grant a buyer two kinds of rights: a “call” (the right to buy the security) or a “put” (the right to sell the security). Options have various types of underlying instruments, including specific securities, indices of securities prices, foreign currencies, interest rates and futures contracts. Options may be traded on an exchange (exchange-traded options) or may be customized agreements between the parties (over-the-counter or “OTC” options). Like futures, a financial intermediary, known as a clearing corporation, financially backs exchange-traded options. However, OTC options have no such intermediary and are subject to the risk that the counterparty will not fulfill its obligations under the contract. The principal factors affecting the market value of an option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market value of the underlying instrument relative to the exercise price of the option, the volatility of the underlying instrument, and the time remaining until the option expires.

 

Purchasing Put and Call Options

 

When a Fund purchases a put option, it buys the right to sell the instrument underlying the option at a fixed strike price. In return for this right, the Fund pays the current market price for the option (known as the “option premium”). A Fund may purchase put options to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of its securities (“protective puts”) or to benefit from a decline in the price of securities that it does not own. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to cover the premium and transaction costs. However, if the price of the underlying instrument does not fall enough to offset the cost of purchasing the option, a put buyer would lose the premium and related transaction costs.

 

Call options are similar to put options, except that a Fund obtains the right to purchase, rather than sell, the underlying instrument at the option’s strike price. A Fund would normally purchase call options in anticipation of an increase in the market value of securities it owns or wants to buy. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying instrument exceeded the exercise price plus the premium paid and related transaction costs. Otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

 

The purchaser of an option may terminate its position by:

 

Allowing it to expire and losing its entire premium;

 

Exercising the option and either selling (in the case of a put option) or buying (in the case of a call option) the underlying instrument at the strike price; or

 

Closing it out in the secondary market at its current price.

 

Selling (Writing) Put and Call Options

 

When a Fund writes a call option it assumes an obligation to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a fixed strike price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. Similarly, when a Fund writes a put option it assumes an obligation to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a fixed strike price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. The Fund may terminate its position in an exchange-traded put option before exercise by buying an option identical to the one it has written. Similarly, the Fund may cancel an OTC option by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to the option.

 

A Fund could try to hedge against an increase in the value of securities it would like to acquire by writing a put option on those securities. If security prices rise, the Fund would expect the put option to expire and the premium it received to offset the increase in the security’s value. If security prices remain the same over time, the Fund would hope to profit by closing out the put option at a lower price. If security prices fall, the Fund may lose an amount of money equal to the difference between the value of the security and the premium it received. Writing covered put options may deprive a Fund of the opportunity to profit from a decrease in the market price of the securities it would like to acquire.

 

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The characteristics of writing call options are similar to those of writing put options, except that call writers expect to profit if prices remain the same or fall. A Fund could try to hedge against a decline in the value of securities it already owns by writing a call option. If the price of that security falls as expected, the Fund would expect the option to expire and the premium it received to offset the decline of the security’s value. However, the Fund must be prepared to deliver the underlying instrument in return for the strike price, which may deprive it of the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the securities it holds.

 

The Funds are permitted to write only “covered” options. At the time of selling a call option, a Fund may cover the option by owning, among other things:

 

The underlying security (or securities convertible into the underlying security without additional consideration), index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract;

 

A call option on the same security or index with the same or lesser exercise price;

 

A call option on the same security or index with a greater exercise price, provided that the Fund also segregates cash or liquid securities in an amount equal to the difference between the exercise prices;

 

Cash or liquid securities equal to at least the market value of the optioned securities, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract; or

 

In the case of an index, the portfolio of securities that corresponds to the index.

 

At the time of selling a put option, a Fund may cover the option by, among other things:

 

Entering into a short position in the underlying security;

 

Purchasing a put option on the same security, index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract with the same or greater exercise price;

 

Purchasing a put option on the same security, index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract with a lesser exercise price and segregating cash or liquid securities in an amount equal to the difference between the exercise prices; or

 

Maintaining the entire exercise price in liquid securities.

 

Options on Securities Indices

 

Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash settlement payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

 

Options on Credit Default Swaps

 

An option on a credit default swap (“CDS”) gives the holder the right to enter into a CDS at a specified future date and under specified terms in exchange for a purchase price or premium. The writer of the option bears the risk of any unfavorable move in the value of the CDS relative to the market value on the exercise date, while the purchaser may allow the option to expire unexercised.

 

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Options on Futures

 

An option on a futures contract provides the holder with the right to buy a futures contract (in the case of a call option) or sell a futures contract (in the case of a put option) at a fixed time and price. Upon exercise of the option by the holder, the contract market clearing house establishes a corresponding short position for the writer of the option (in the case of a call option) or a corresponding long position (in the case of a put option). If the option is exercised, the parties will be subject to the futures contracts. In addition, the writer of an option on a futures contract is subject to initial and variation margin requirements on the option position. Options on futures contracts are traded on the same contract market as the underlying futures contract.

 

The buyer or seller of an option on a futures contract may terminate the option early by purchasing or selling an option of the same series (i.e., the same exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously purchased or sold. The difference between the premiums paid and received represents the trader’s profit or loss on the transaction.

 

A Fund may purchase put and call options on futures contracts instead of selling or buying futures contracts. The Fund may buy a put option on a futures contract for the same reasons it would sell a futures contract. It also may purchase such a put option in order to hedge a long position in the underlying futures contract. A Fund may buy a call option on a futures contract for the same purpose as the actual purchase of a futures contract, such as in anticipation of favorable market conditions.

 

A Fund may write a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a decline in the prices of the instrument underlying the futures contracts. If the price of the futures contract at expiration were below the exercise price, the Fund would retain the option premium, which would offset, in part, any decline in the value of its portfolio securities.

 

The writing of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of the futures contracts, except that, if the market price declines, a Fund would pay more than the market price for the underlying instrument. The premium received on the sale of the put option, less any transaction costs, would reduce the net cost to the Fund.

 

Options on Foreign Currencies

 

A put option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell a foreign currency at the exercise price until the option expires. A call option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the option expires. The Funds may purchase or write put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of hedging against changes in future currency exchange rates.

 

The Funds may use foreign currency options given the same circumstances under which they could use forward foreign currency exchange contracts. For example, a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency in which a Fund’s securities are denominated would reduce the U.S. dollar value of the securities, even if their value in the foreign currency remained constant. In order to hedge against such a risk, the Fund may purchase a put option on the foreign currency. If the value of the currency then declined, the Fund could sell the currency for a fixed amount in U.S. dollars and thereby offset, at least partially, the negative effect on its securities that otherwise would have resulted. Conversely, if a Fund anticipates a rise in the U.S. dollar value of a currency in which securities to be acquired are denominated, the Fund may purchase call options on the currency in order to offset, at least partially, the effects of negative movements in exchange rates. If currency exchange rates do not move in the direction or to the extent anticipated, the Funds could sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options.

 

Combined Positions

 

The Funds may purchase and write options in combination with each other, or in combination with futures or forward contracts or swap agreements, to adjust the risk and return characteristics of the overall position. For example, a Fund could construct a combined position whose risk and return characteristics are similar to selling a futures contract by purchasing a put option and writing a call option on the same underlying instrument. Alternatively, a Fund could write a call option at one strike price and buy a call option at a lower price to reduce the risk of the written call option in the event of a substantial price increase. Because combined options positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.

 

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Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. A forward foreign currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific amount of currency at a future date or date range at a specific price. In the case of a cancelable forward contract, the holder has the unilateral right to cancel the contract at maturity by paying a specified fee. Forward foreign currency exchange contracts differ from foreign currency futures contracts in certain respects. Unlike futures contracts, forward contracts:

 

Do not have standard maturity dates or amounts (i.e., the parties to the contract may fix the maturity date and the amount);

 

Are typically traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers in the inter-bank markets, as opposed to on exchanges regulated by the CFTC (note, however, that under new definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, many non-deliverable foreign currency forwards will be considered swaps for certain purposes, including determination of whether such instruments must be traded on exchanges and centrally cleared);

 

Do not require an initial margin deposit; and

 

May be closed by entering into a closing transaction with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract, as opposed to with a commodities exchange.

 

Foreign Currency Hedging Strategies

 

A “settlement hedge” or “transaction hedge” is designed to protect a Fund against an adverse change in foreign currency values between the date a security is purchased or sold and the date on which payment is made or received. Entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale of the amount of foreign currency involved in an underlying security transaction for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars “locks in” the U.S. dollar price of the security. A Fund may also use forward contracts to purchase or sell a foreign currency when it anticipates purchasing or selling securities denominated in foreign currency, even if it has not yet selected the specific investments.

 

A Fund may use forward contracts to hedge against a decline in the value of existing investments denominated in foreign currency. Such a hedge, sometimes referred to as a “position hedge,” would tend to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations, but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. The Fund could also hedge the position by selling another currency expected to perform similarly to the currency in which the Fund’s investment is denominated. This type of hedge, sometimes referred to as a “proxy hedge,” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield, or efficiency, but generally would not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a direct hedge into U.S. dollars. Proxy hedges may result in losses if the currency used to hedge does not perform similarly to the currency in which the hedged securities are denominated.

 

Transaction and position hedging do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities that a Fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange that one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency and to limit any potential gain that might result from the increase in value of such currency.

 

A Fund may enter into forward contracts to shift its investment exposure from one currency into another. Such transactions may call for the delivery of one foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency, including currencies in which its securities are not then denominated. This may include shifting exposure from U.S. dollars to a foreign currency, or from one foreign currency to another foreign currency. This type of strategy, sometimes known as a “cross-hedge,” will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased. Cross-hedges may protect against losses resulting from a decline in the hedged currency but will cause the Fund to assume the risk of fluctuations in the value of the currency it purchases. Cross-hedging transactions also involve the risk of imperfect correlation between changes in the values of the currencies involved.

 

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It is difficult to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, a Fund may have to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot (cash) market if the market value of a security it is hedging is less than the amount of foreign currency it is obligated to deliver. Conversely, the Fund may have to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency it received upon the sale of a security if the market value of such security exceeds the amount of foreign currency it is obligated to deliver.

 

Equity-Linked Securities. The Funds may invest in privately issued securities whose investment results are designed to correspond generally to the performance of a specified stock index or “basket” of securities, or sometimes a single stock (referred to as “equity-linked securities”). These securities are used for many of the same purposes as derivative instruments and share many of the same risks. Equity-linked securities may be considered illiquid and thus subject to the Funds’ restrictions on investments in illiquid investments.

 

Swap Agreements. A swap agreement is a financial instrument that typically involves the exchange of cash flows between two parties on specified dates (settlement dates), where the cash flows are based on agreed-upon prices, rates, indices, etc. The nominal amount on which the cash flows are calculated is called the notional amount. Swap agreements are individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors, such as interest rates, foreign currency rates, mortgage securities, corporate borrowing rates, security prices or inflation rates.

 

Swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the investments of a Fund and its share price. The performance of swap agreements may be affected by a change in the specific interest rate, currency, or other factors that determine the amounts of payments due to and from the Fund. If a swap agreement calls for payments by the Fund, the Fund must be prepared to make such payments when due. In addition, if the counterparty’s creditworthiness declined, the value of a swap agreement would be likely to decline, potentially resulting in losses.

 

Generally, swap agreements have a fixed maturity date that will be agreed upon by the parties. The agreement can be terminated before the maturity date under certain circumstances, such as default by one of the parties or insolvency, among others, and can be transferred by a party only with the prior written consent of the other party. A Fund may be able to eliminate its exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or by other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same party or a similarly creditworthy party. If the counterparty is unable to meet its obligations under the contract, declares bankruptcy, defaults or becomes insolvent, a Fund may not be able to recover the money it expected to receive under the swap agreement. The Funds will not enter into any swap agreement unless the Adviser believes that the counterparty to the transaction is creditworthy.

 

A swap agreement can be a form of leverage, which can magnify the Funds’ gains or losses. In order to reduce the risk associated with leveraging, the Funds may cover their current obligations under swap agreements according to guidelines established by the SEC. If a Fund enters into a swap agreement on a net basis, it will segregate assets with a daily value at least equal to the excess, if any, of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap agreement over the accrued amount the Fund is entitled to receive under the agreement. If a Fund enters into a swap agreement on other than a net basis, it will segregate assets with a value equal to the full amount of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap agreement.

 

Equity Swaps

 

In a typical equity swap, one party agrees to pay another party the return on a stock, stock index or basket of stocks in return for a specified interest rate. By entering into an equity index swap, for example, the index receiver can gain exposure to stocks making up the index of securities without actually purchasing those stocks. Equity index swaps involve not only the risk associated with investment in the securities represented in the index, but also the risk that the performance of such securities, including dividends, will not exceed the return on the interest rate that a Fund will be committed to pay.

 

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Total Return Swaps

 

Total return swaps are contracts in which one party agrees to make payments of the total return from a reference instrument—which may be a single asset, a pool of assets or an index of assets—during a specified period, in return for payments equal to a fixed or floating rate of interest or the total return from another underlying reference instrument. The total return includes appreciation or depreciation on the underlying asset, plus any interest or dividend payments. Payments under the swap are based upon an agreed upon principal amount but, since the principal amount is not exchanged, it represents neither an asset nor a liability to either counterparty, and is referred to as notional. Total return swaps are marked to market daily using different sources, including quotations from counterparties, pricing services, brokers or market makers. The unrealized appreciation or depreciation related to the change in the valuation of the notional amount of the swap is combined with the amount due to a Fund at termination or settlement. The primary risks associated with total return swaps are credit risks (if the counterparty fails to meet its obligations) and market risk (if there is no liquid market for the swap or unfavorable changes occur to the underlying reference instrument).

 

Interest Rate Swaps

 

Interest rate swaps are financial instruments that involve the exchange of one type of interest rate for another type of interest rate cash flow on specified dates in the future. Some of the different types of interest rate swaps are “fixed-for-floating rate swaps,” “termed basis swaps” and “index amortizing swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of fixed interest rate cash flows for floating rate cash flows. Termed basis swaps entail cash flows to both parties based on floating interest rates, where the interest rate indices are different. Index amortizing swaps are typically fixed-for-floating rate swaps where the notional amount changes if certain conditions are met.

 

As with a traditional investment in a debt security, a Fund could lose money by investing in an interest rate swap if interest rates change adversely. For example, if a Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a floating rate of interest for a fixed rate of interest, the Fund may have to pay more money than it receives. Similarly, if a Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a fixed rate of interest for a floating rate of interest, the Fund may receive less money than it has agreed to pay.

 

Currency Swaps

 

A currency swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to make interest rate payments in one currency and the other promises to make interest rate payments in another currency. A Fund may enter into a currency swap when it has one currency and desires a different currency. Typically, the interest rates that determine the currency swap payments are fixed, although occasionally one or both parties may pay a floating rate of interest. Unlike an interest rate swap, however, the principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the agreement and returned at the end of the agreement. Changes in foreign exchange rates and changes in interest rates, as described above, may negatively affect currency swaps.

 

Inflation Swaps

 

Inflation swaps are fixed-maturity, over-the-counter derivatives where one party pays a fixed rate in exchange for payments tied to an inflation index, such as the Consumer Price Index. The fixed rate, which is set by the parties at the initiation of the swap, is often referred to as the “breakeven inflation” rate and generally represents the current difference between treasury yields and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities yields of similar maturities at the initiation of the swap agreement. Inflation swaps are typically designated as “zero coupon,” where all cash flows are exchanged at maturity. The value of an inflation swap is expected to fluctuate in response to changes in the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. An inflation swap can lose value if the realized rate of inflation over the life of the swap is less than the fixed market implied inflation rate (the breakeven inflation rate) the investor agreed to pay at the initiation of the swap.

 

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Credit Default Swaps

 

A credit default swap is an agreement between a “buyer” and a “seller” for credit protection. The credit default swap agreement may have as reference obligations one or more securities that are not then held by a Fund. The protection buyer is generally obligated to pay the protection seller an upfront payment and/or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement until a credit event on a reference obligation has occurred. If no default occurs, the seller would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the full notional amount (the “par value”) of the swap.

 

Caps, Collars and Floors

 

Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. In a typical cap or floor agreement, one party agrees to make payments only under specified circumstances, usually in return for payment of a fee by the other party. For example, the buyer of an interest rate cap obtains the right to receive payments to the extent that a specified interest rate exceeds an agreed-upon level. The seller of an interest rate floor is obligated to make payments to the extent that a specified interest rate falls below an agreed-upon level. An interest rate collar combines elements of buying a cap and selling a floor.

 

Risks of Derivatives:

 

While transactions in derivatives may reduce certain risks, these transactions themselves entail certain other risks. For example, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance of the Funds than if they had not entered into any derivatives transactions. Derivatives may magnify the Funds’ gains or losses, causing them to make or lose substantially more than they invested.

 

When used for hedging purposes, increases in the value of the securities a Fund holds or intends to acquire should offset any losses incurred with a derivative. Purchasing derivatives for purposes other than hedging could expose the Fund to greater risks.

 

Use of derivatives involves transaction costs, which may be significant, and may also increase the amount of taxable income to shareholders.

 

Correlation of Prices. The Funds’ ability to hedge their securities through derivatives depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying index or instrument correlate with price movements in the relevant securities. In the case of poor correlation, the price of the securities a Fund is hedging may not move in the same amount, or even in the same direction as the hedging instrument. The Adviser will try to minimize this risk by investing in only those contracts whose behavior it expects to correlate with the behavior of the portfolio securities it is trying to hedge. However, if the Adviser’s prediction of interest and currency rates, market value, volatility or other economic factors is incorrect, a Fund may lose money, or may not make as much money as it expected.

 

Derivative prices can diverge from the prices of their underlying instruments, even if the characteristics of the underlying instruments are very similar to the derivative. Listed below are some of the factors that may cause such a divergence:

 

Current and anticipated short-term interest rates, changes in volatility of the underlying instrument, and the time remaining until expiration of the contract;

 

A difference between the derivatives and securities markets, including different levels of demand, how the instruments are traded, the imposition of daily price fluctuation limits or discontinued trading of an instrument; and

 

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Differences between the derivatives, such as different margin requirements, different liquidity of such markets and the participation of speculators in such markets.

 

Derivatives based upon a narrower index of securities, such as those of a particular industry group, may present greater risk than derivatives based on a broad market index. Since narrower indices are made up of a smaller number of securities, they are more susceptible to rapid and extreme price fluctuations because of changes in the value of those securities.

 

While currency futures and options values are expected to correlate with exchange rates, they may not reflect other factors that affect the value of the investments of the Funds. A currency hedge, for example, should protect a yen-denominated security from a decline in the yen, but will not protect the Funds against a price decline resulting from deterioration in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Because the value of the Funds’ foreign-denominated investments changes in response to many factors other than exchange rates, it may not be possible to match the amount of currency options and futures to the value of the Funds’ investments precisely over time.

 

Lack of Liquidity. Before a futures contract or option is exercised or expires, a Fund can terminate it only by entering into a closing purchase or sale transaction. Moreover, a Fund may close out a futures contract only on the exchange the contract was initially traded. Although the Funds intend to purchase options and futures only where there appears to be an active market, there is no guarantee that such a liquid market will exist. If there is no secondary market for the contract, or the market is illiquid, a Fund may not be able to close out its position. In an illiquid market, a Fund may:

 

Have to sell securities to meet its daily margin requirements at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so;

 

Have to purchase or sell the instrument underlying the contract;

 

Not be able to hedge its investments; and/or

 

Not be able to realize profits or limit its losses.

 

Derivatives may become illiquid (i.e., difficult to sell at a desired time and price) under a variety of market conditions. For example:

 

An exchange may suspend or limit trading in a particular derivative instrument, an entire category of derivatives or all derivatives, which sometimes occurs because of increased market volatility;

 

Unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations of an exchange;

 

The facilities of the exchange may not be adequate to handle current trading volume;

 

Equipment failures, government intervention, insolvency of a brokerage firm or clearing house or other occurrences may disrupt normal trading activity; or

 

Investors may lose interest in a particular derivative or category of derivatives.

 

Management Risk. Successful use of derivatives by the Funds is subject to the ability of the Adviser to forecast stock market and interest rate trends. If the Adviser incorrectly predicts stock market and interest rate trends, the Funds may lose money by investing in derivatives. For example, if a Fund were to write a call option based on the Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would fall, but the price were to rise instead, the Fund could be required to sell the security upon exercise at a price below the current market price. Similarly, if a Fund were to write a put option based on the Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would rise, but the price were to fall instead, the Fund could be required to purchase the security upon exercise at a price higher than the current market price.

 

Pricing Risk. At times, market conditions might make it hard to value some investments. For example, if a Fund has valued its securities too high, shareholders may end up paying too much for Fund shares when they buy into the Fund. If the Fund underestimates its price, shareholders may not receive the full market value for their Fund shares when they sell.

 

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Margin. Because of the low margin deposits required upon the opening of a derivative position, such transactions involve an extremely high degree of leverage. Consequently, a relatively small price movement in a derivative may result in an immediate and substantial loss (as well as gain) to a Fund and it may lose more than it originally invested in the derivative.

 

If the price of a futures contract changes adversely, a Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so to meet its minimum daily margin requirement. A Fund may lose its margin deposits if a broker-dealer with whom it has an open futures contract or related option becomes insolvent or declares bankruptcy.

 

Volatility and Leverage. The Funds’ use of derivatives may have a leveraging effect. Leverage generally magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in value of an underlying asset and results in increased volatility, which means the Funds will have the potential for greater gains, as well as the potential for greater losses, than if the Funds do not use derivative instruments that have a leveraging effect. The prices of derivatives are volatile (i.e., they may change rapidly, substantially and unpredictably) and are influenced by a variety of factors, including:

 

Actual and anticipated changes in interest rates;

 

Fiscal and monetary policies; and

 

National and international political events.

 

Most exchanges limit the amount by which the price of a derivative can change during a single trading day. Daily trading limits establish the maximum amount that the price of a derivative may vary from the settlement price of that derivative at the end of trading on the previous day. Once the price of a derivative reaches that value, the Funds may not trade that derivative at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a given day and does not limit potential gains or losses. Derivative prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days, preventing prompt liquidation of the derivative.

 

Government Regulation. The regulation of derivatives markets in the U.S. is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in 2010, grants significant new authority to the SEC and the CFTC to impose comprehensive regulations on the over-the-counter and cleared derivatives markets. These regulations include, but are not limited to, mandatory clearing of certain derivatives and requirements relating to disclosure, margin and trade reporting. The new law and regulations may negatively impact the Funds by increasing transaction and/or regulatory compliance costs, limiting the availability of certain derivatives or otherwise adversely affecting the value or performance of the derivatives the Funds trade. In addition, the SEC proposed new derivatives rules in December 2015 that could limit the Funds’ use of derivatives, and adversely impact the Funds’ ability to achieve their investment objectives. Other potentially adverse regulatory obligations can develop suddenly and without notice.

 

Illiquid Investments. Illiquid investments are investments that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Because of their illiquid nature, illiquid investments must be priced at fair value as determined in good faith pursuant to procedures approved by the Board. Despite such good faith efforts to determine fair value prices, a Fund’s illiquid investments are subject to the risk that the investment’s fair value price may differ from the actual price which the Fund may ultimately realize upon its sale or disposition. Difficulty in selling illiquid investments may result in a loss or may be costly to a Fund. Under the supervision of the Board, the Adviser determines the liquidity of a Fund’s investments. A Fund may not acquire an illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets.

 

Restricted Securities. Restricted securities are securities that may not be sold freely to the public absent registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”) or an exemption from registration. As consistent with a Fund’s investment objective, the Fund may invest in Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper. Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper is issued in reliance on an exemption from registration under Section 4(a)(2) of the 1933 Act and is generally sold to institutional investors who purchase for investment. Any resale of such commercial paper must be in an exempt transaction, usually to an institutional investor through the issuer or investment dealers who make a market in such commercial paper.

 

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Short Sales. As is consistent with a Fund’s investment objective, the Fund may engage in short sales that are either “uncovered” or “against the box.” A short sale is “against the box” if at all times during which the short position is open, a Fund owns at least an equal amount of the securities or securities convertible into, or exchangeable without further consideration for, securities of the same issue as the securities that are sold short. A short sale against the box is a taxable transaction to a Fund with respect to the securities that are sold short.

 

Special Risks of Cyber Attacks. As with any entity that conducts business through electronic means in the modern marketplace, the Funds, and their service providers, may be susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential information, unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Funds and their service providers use to service the Funds’ operations, ransomware, operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Funds and their service providers, or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Funds or the Adviser, the Funds’ distributor, custodian, or any other of the Funds’ intermediaries or service providers may adversely impact the Funds and their shareholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses or the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Funds’ ability to calculate their net asset value, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential business information, impede trading, subject the Funds to regulatory fines or financial losses and/or cause reputational damage. The Funds may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes designed to mitigate or prevent the risk of cyber attacks. Such costs may be ongoing because threats of cyber attacks are constantly evolving as cyber attackers become more sophisticated and their techniques become more complex. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Funds may invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers and may cause the Funds’ investments in such companies to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Funds, the Funds’ service providers, or the issuers of the securities in which the Funds invest will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.

 

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

 

Fundamental Policies

 

In addition to the investment objective of each Fund, the following are fundamental policies of each Fund. Fundamental policies cannot be changed without the consent of the holders of a majority of a Fund’s outstanding shares. The phrase “majority of the outstanding shares” means the vote of (i) 67% or more of a Fund’s shares present at a meeting, if more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of a Fund’s outstanding shares, whichever is less.

 

Each Fund, except the LSV Value Equity Fund and the LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund, may not:

 

1. Purchase securities of an issuer that would cause the Fund to fail to satisfy the diversification requirement for a diversified management company under the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

2. Concentrate investments in a particular industry or group of industries, as concentration is defined under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

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3. Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

4. Make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

5. Purchase or sell commodities or real estate, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

6. Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

The LSV Value Equity Fund may not:

 

1. Purchase securities of any issuer (except securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities and repurchase agreements involving such securities) if as a result more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund would be invested in the securities of such issuer. This restriction applies to 75% of the Fund’s total assets.

 

2. Purchase any securities which would cause 25% or more of the total assets of the Fund to be invested in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry, provided that this limitation does not apply to investments in obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities and repurchase agreements involving such securities. For purposes of this limitation, (i) utility companies will be classified according to their services, for example, gas distribution, gas transmission, electric and telephone will each be considered a separate industry; and (ii) financial service companies will be classified according to the end users of their services, for example, automobile finance, bank finance and diversified finance will each be considered a separate industry.

 

3. Acquire more than 10% of the voting securities of any one issuer.

 

4. Invest in companies for the purpose of exercising control.

 

5. Issue any class of senior security or sell any senior security of which it is the issuer, except that the Fund may borrow from any bank, provided that immediately after any such borrowing there is asset coverage of at least 300% for all borrowings of the Fund, and further provided that, to the extent that such borrowings exceed 5% of the Fund’s total assets, all borrowings shall be repaid before the Fund makes additional investments. The term “senior security” shall not include any temporary borrowings that do not exceed 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the time the Fund makes such temporary borrowing. In addition, investment strategies that either obligate the Fund to purchase securities or require the Fund to segregate assets will not be considered borrowings or senior securities. This investment limitation shall not preclude the Fund from issuing multiple classes of shares in reliance on SEC rules or orders.

 

6. Make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other parties, except that the Fund may (i) purchase or hold debt instruments in accordance with its investment objective and policies; (ii) enter into repurchase agreements; and (iii) lend its securities.

 

7. Purchase or sell real estate, real estate limited partnership interests, physical commodities or commodities contracts except that the Fund may purchase commodities contracts relating to financial instruments, such as financial futures contracts and options on such contracts.

 

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8. Make short sales of securities, maintain a short position or purchase securities on margin, except that the Fund may obtain short-term credits as necessary for the clearance of security transactions and sell securities short “against the box.”

 

9. Act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers except as it may be deemed an underwriter in selling the Fund security.

 

10. Purchase securities of other investment companies except as permitted by the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.

 

The LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund may:

 

1. Purchase securities of an issuer, except if such purchase would cause the Fund to fail to satisfy the diversification requirement for a diversified management company under the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted 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 and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time, except that the Fund may invest without limitation in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities and repurchase agreements involving such securities or tax-exempt obligations of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions.

 

3. Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except as prohibited under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

4. Make loans, except as prohibited under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

5. Purchase or sell commodities or real estate, except as prohibited under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

6. Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except as prohibited under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

Non-Fundamental Policies

 

The following investment limitations of each Fund, except the LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund, are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval:

 

1. Each of the LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund, LSV Small Cap Value Fund, LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund, LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund and LSV Global Value Fund may not make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other parties, except that the Fund may: (i) purchase or hold debt instruments in accordance with its investment objective and policies; (ii) enter into repurchase agreements; and (iii) lend its securities.

 

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2. Each of the LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund, LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund and LSV Global Value Fund may not purchase or sell real estate, physical commodities, or commodities contracts based on physical commodities, except that the Fund may purchase: (i) marketable securities issued by companies which own or invest in real estate (including real estate investment trusts (“REITs”)); or (ii) physical commodities or commodities contracts based on physical commodities.

 

3. Each of the LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund and LSV Small Cap Value Fund will not purchase or sell real estate, physical commodities, or commodities contracts, except that each Fund may purchase: (i) marketable securities issued by companies which own or invest in real estate (including REITs), commodities, or commodities contracts; and (ii) commodities contracts relating to financial instruments, such as financial futures contracts and options on such contracts.

 

4. Under normal circumstances, each of the LSV Value Equity Fund and LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund shall invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowing for investment purposes, in equity securities. This non-fundamental policy may be changed by the Board upon at least 60 days’ written notice to Fund shareholders.

 

5. Under normal circumstances, the LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund shall invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowing for investment purposes, in equity securities of U.S. companies. This non-fundamental policy may be changed by the Board upon at least 60 days’ written notice to Fund shareholders.

 

6. Under normal circumstances, the LSV Small Cap Value Fund shall invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities of small-capitalization companies. This non-fundamental policy may be changed by the Board upon at least 60 days’ written notice to Fund shareholders.

 

The following investment limitations of the LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval:

 

1. The Fund may not invest in unmarketable interests in real estate limited partnerships or invest directly in real estate. For the avoidance of doubt, the foregoing policy does not prevent the Fund from, among other things, purchasing marketable securities of companies that deal in real estate or interests therein (including REITs).

 

2. The Fund may purchase or sell financial and physical commodities, commodity contracts based on (or relating to) physical commodities or financial commodities and securities and derivative instruments whose values are derived from (in whole or in part) physical commodities or financial commodities.

 

Except with respect to Fund policies concerning borrowing, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of an investment, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from changes in values or assets will not constitute a violation of such restriction. With respect to the limitation on borrowing, in the event that a subsequent change in net assets or other circumstances causes a Fund to exceed its limitation, the Fund will take steps to bring the aggregate amount of borrowing back within the limitations within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays).

 

The following descriptions of certain provisions of the 1940 Act may assist investors in understanding the above policies and restrictions:

 

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Diversification. Under the 1940 Act, a diversified investment management company, as to 75% of its total assets, may not purchase securities of any issuer (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agents or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies) if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets would be invested in the securities of such issuer, or more than 10% of the issuer’s outstanding voting securities would be held by the fund.

 

Concentration. The 1940 Act requires that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy regarding concentration. The SEC has defined concentration as investing 25% or more of an investment company’s total assets in an industry or group of industries, with certain exceptions. For purposes of a Fund's concentration policy, the Fund may classify and re-classify companies in a particular industry and define and re-define industries in any reasonable manner, consistent with SEC and SEC staff guidance.

 

Borrowing. The 1940 Act presently allows a fund to borrow from any bank in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) and to borrow for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of its total assets.

 

Senior Securities. Senior securities may include any obligation or instrument issued by a fund evidencing indebtedness. The 1940 Act generally prohibits funds from issuing senior securities, although it does not treat certain transactions as senior securities, such as certain derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements, firm commitment agreements and standby commitments, with appropriate earmarking or segregation of assets to cover such obligation.

 

Lending. Under the 1940 Act, a fund may only make loans if expressly permitted by its investment policies.

 

Underwriting. Under the 1940 Act, underwriting securities involves a fund purchasing securities directly from an issuer for the purpose of selling (distributing) them or participating in any such activity either directly or indirectly. Under the 1940 Act, a diversified fund may not make any commitment as underwriter, if immediately thereafter the amount of its outstanding underwriting commitments, plus the value of its investments in securities of issuers (other than investment companies) of which it owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities, exceeds 25% of the value of its total assets.

 

Commodities and Real Estate. The 1940 Act does not directly restrict an investment company’s ability to invest in commodities or real estate, but does require that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy governing such investments.

 

THE ADVISER

 

General. LSV Asset Management is a professional investment management firm registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The Adviser was established in 1994 as a Delaware general partnership to provide active, quantitative value equity management through the application of a proprietary model. LSV’s general partners include officers and employees of LSV, who collectively own a majority of LSV, and SEI Funds, Inc. SEI Investments Company is the parent of SEI Funds, Inc. As of December 31, 2018, the Adviser had approximately $106 billion in assets under management. LSV’s principal business address is 155 North Wacker Drive, Suite 4600, Chicago, IL 60606.

 

Advisory Agreement with the Trust. The Trust and the Adviser have entered into an investment advisory agreement dated March 15, 1999 (the “Advisory Agreement”) with respect to the Funds. Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser serves as the investment adviser and makes investment decisions for the Funds and continuously reviews, supervises and administers the investment program of the Funds, subject to the supervision of, and policies established by, the Trustees.

 

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After the initial two year term, the continuance of the Advisory Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually: (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Funds; and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Advisory Agreement or “interested persons” of any party thereto, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment, and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees or, with respect to any Fund, by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, on not less than 30 days’ nor more than 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser, or by the Adviser on 90 days’ written notice to the Trust. As used in the Advisory Agreement, the terms “majority of the outstanding voting securities,” “interested persons” and “assignment” have the same meaning as such terms in the 1940 Act.

 

Advisory Fees Paid to the Adviser. For its services under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is entitled to a fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at the following annual rates based on the average daily net assets of each Fund:

 

Fund Advisory Fee Rate
LSV Value Equity Fund 0.55%
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund 0.38%
LSV Small Cap Value Fund 0.70%
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund 0.45%
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund 0.60%
LSV Global Value Fund 0.75%
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund 1.00%

 

The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive fees and reimburse certain expenses of the following Funds in order to keep net operating expenses (excluding interest, taxes, brokerage commissions, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding certain levels as set forth below until February 28, 2020. The fee waivers may be renewed by the Adviser on an annual basis. This agreement may be terminated: (i) by the Board, for any reason at any time; or (ii) by the Adviser, upon ninety (90) days’ prior written notice to the Trust, effective as of the close of business on February 28, 2020.

 

Fund Class Expense Limit
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund Investor Class 0.60%
Institutional Class 0.35%
LSV Small Cap Value Fund Investor Class 1.10%
Institutional Class 0.85%
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund Investor Class 0.80%
Institutional Class 0.55%
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund Investor Class 1.00%
Institutional Class 0.75%
LSV Global Value Fund Investor Class 1.15%
Institutional Class 0.90%
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund Investor Class 1.45%
Institutional Class 1.20%

 

S-27

 

For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Funds paid the Adviser the following advisory fees:

 

 

Fund

Contractual Advisory Fees Fees Waived by the Adviser Total Fees Paid to the Adviser
(After Waivers)
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
LSV Value Equity Fund $9,042,089 $10,982,792 $14,081,491 $0 $0 $0 $9,042,089 $10,982,792 $14,081,491
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund $343,057 $404,626 $460,233 $220,323 $224,704 $231,628 $122,734 $179,922 $228,605
LSV Small Cap Value Fund $1,048,353 $2,012,134 $2,740,133 $46,246 $0 $0 $1,002,107 $2,012,134 $2,740,133
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund $158,831 $339,339 $389,113 $111,261 $107,619 $88,938 $47,5701 $231,720 $300,175
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund $25,016 $45,707 $99,384 $25,016 $45,707 $99,384 $01 $02 $03
LSV Global Value Fund $20,256 $27,990 $38,657 $20,256 $27,990 $38,657 $01 $02 $03
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4 N/A4

 

1 For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016, the Adviser additionally reimbursed fees of $4,000, $113,908, and $127,035 for the LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund, LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund, and LSV Global Value Fund, respectively, to maintain the stated expense caps under its contractual expense limitation agreement with the Funds.
2 For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the Adviser additionally reimbursed fees of $84,246 and $106,895 for the LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund and LSV Global Value Fund, respectively, to maintain the stated expense caps under its contractual expense limitation agreement with the Funds.
3 For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, the Adviser additionally reimbursed fees of $25,916 and $78,326 for the LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund and LSV Global Value Fund, respectively, to maintain the stated expense caps under its contractual expense limitation agreement with the Funds.
4 Not in operation during the period.

 

Investment Management Personnel of the Adviser. Messrs. Lakonishok, Vermeulen, Mansharamani, Sleight, Lakonishok and Karceski have developed a proprietary computer model based on their research of investor behavior and the performance of contrarian investment strategies. The portfolio decision making process is quantitative and driven by (i) a proprietary computer model which ranks securities based on fundamental measures of value, indicators of recent improved performance and volatility, and (ii) a risk control process that controls for residual benchmark risk. Refinements to the model are made as suggested by advances in the Adviser’s research and these refinements are generally incremental in nature. The Adviser may modify the investment model used to manage the Funds at any time without notice.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

 

This section includes information about the Funds’ portfolio managers, including information about other accounts they manage, the dollar range of each Fund shares they own and how they are compensated.

 

Compensation. The Adviser compensates the portfolio managers for their management of the Funds. The portfolio managers’ compensation consists of a salary and discretionary bonus. Each of the portfolio managers is a Partner of the Adviser and thereby receives a portion of the overall profit of the firm as part of his ownership interests. The bonus is based upon the profitability of the firm and individual performance. Individual performance is subjective and may be based on a number of factors, such as the individual’s leadership and contribution to the strategic planning and development of the investment group.

 

S-28

 

Fund Shares Owned by the Portfolio Managers. The Funds are required to show the dollar amount range of each portfolio manager’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of the Funds as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”).

 

 

Name

Dollar Range of Fund Shares

(Fund)1

Aggregate Dollar Range of Fund Shares (All Funds)1
Josef Lakonishok

Over $1 million (LSV Value Equity Fund)

Over $1 million (LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund)

Over $1 million (LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund)

Over $1 million (LSV Global Value Fund)

Over $1 million
Menno Vermeulen

$500,001 to $1,000,000 (LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund)

$500,001 to $1,000,000 (LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund)

$100,001 to $500,000 (LSV Global Value Fund)

Over $1 million
Puneet Mansharamani None None
Greg Sleight None None
Guy Lakonishok None None
Jason Karceski

$100,001 to $500,000 (LSV Value Equity Fund)

$100,001 to $500,000 (LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund)

$10,001 to $50,000 (LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund)

$100,001 to $500,000

 

1 Valuation date is October 31, 2018.

 

Other Accounts. In addition to the Funds, the portfolio managers may also be responsible for the day-to-day management of certain other accounts, as indicated by the following table. The information below is provided as of October 31, 2018.

 

Name Registered Investment Companies Other Pooled Investment Vehicles Other Accounts

Number of

Accounts

Total Assets

(in Billions)

Number of

Accounts

Total Assets

(in Billions)

Number of

Accounts

Total Assets

(in Billions)

Josef Lakonishok 33 $17.96 781 $28.35 4572 $62.91
Menno Vermeulen 33 $17.96 781 $28.35 4572 $62.91
Puneet Mansharamani 33 $17.96 781 $28.35 4572 $62.91
Greg Sleight 33 $17.96 781 $28.35 4572 $62.91
Guy Lakonishok 33 $17.96 781 $28.35 4572 $62.91
Jason Karceski 5 $3.71 8 $2.57 203 $2.17

 

1 Includes 38 accounts with aggregated assets under management of $1.28 billion that are subject to performance-based advisory fees.
2 Includes 48 accounts with aggregated assets under management of $11.28 billion that are subject to performance-based advisory fees.
3 Includes 1 account with assets under management of $317 million that is subject to performance-based advisory fees.

 

S-29

 

Conflicts of Interest. The same team of portfolio managers is responsible for the day-to-day management of all of LSV’s accounts. LSV uses a proprietary quantitative investment model to manage all of LSV’s accounts. LSV relies extensively on its quantitative investment model regarding the advisability of investing in a particular company. Any investment decisions are generally made based on whether a buy or sell signal is received from the proprietary quantitative investment model. Accounts or funds with performance-based fees and accounts or funds in which employees may be invested could create an incentive to favor those accounts or funds over other accounts or funds in the allocation of investment opportunities. In addition, it is possible that a short position may be taken on a security that is held long in another portfolio. LSV seeks to make allocations of investment opportunities in a manner that it considers fair, reasonable and equitable without favoring or disfavoring, consistently or consciously, any particular client. LSV has procedures designed to ensure that all clients are treated fairly and to prevent these potential conflicts from influencing the allocation of investment opportunities among clients. On a quarterly basis, the Forensic Testing Committee, consisting of the Chief Compliance Officer, Compliance Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Compliance Analyst, reviews, among other things, allocations of investment opportunities among clients and allocations of partially-filled block trades to confirm consistency with LSV's policies and procedures.

 

THE ADMINISTRATOR

 

General. SEI Investments Global Funds Services (the “Administrator”), a Delaware statutory trust, has its principal business offices at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456. SEI Investments Management Corporation (“SIMC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEI Investments Company (“SEI Investments”), is the owner of all beneficial interest in the Administrator. SEI Investments and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including the Administrator, are leading providers of fund evaluation services, trust accounting systems, and brokerage and information services to financial institutions, institutional investors, and money managers. The Administrator and its affiliates also serve as administrator or sub-administrator to other mutual funds.

 

Administration Agreement with the Trust. The Trust and the Administrator have entered into an administration agreement, dated November 14, 1991, as amended and restated November 12, 2002 (the “Administration Agreement”). Under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator provides the Trust with administrative services, including regulatory reporting and all necessary office space, equipment, personnel and facilities.

 

The Administration Agreement provides that the Administrator shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with the matters to which the Administration Agreement relates, except a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Administrator in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by it of its duties and obligations thereunder.

 

Administration Fees Paid to the Administrator. For its services under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator is paid a fee, which varies based on the average daily net assets of the Funds, subject to certain minimums. For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Funds paid the following amounts for these services:

 

S-30

 

 

Fund

Administration Fees Paid
2016 2017 2018
LSV Value Equity Fund $1,085,043 $1,202,383 $1,415,443
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund $59,745 $64,099 $67,292
LSV Small Cap Value Fund $98,289 $172,802 $217,254
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund $23,116 $45,349 $48,103
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund $2,745 $4,578 $9,105
LSV Global Value Fund $1,788 $2,544 $2,863
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund N/A1 N/A1 N/A1

 

1 Not in operation during the period.

 

THE DISTRIBUTOR

 

The Trust and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distributor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEI Investments and an affiliate of the Administrator, are parties to a distribution agreement dated November 14, 1991, as amended and restated November 14, 2005 and as amended August 30, 2010 (the “Distribution Agreement”) whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Trust’s shares.

 

The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Trust and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act), and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Board or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Trust, or by the Distributor, upon not less than 60 days’ written notice to the other party.

 

PAYMENTS TO FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

Distribution Plan. The Trust has adopted a Distribution Plan with respect to the Investor Class Shares (the “Plan”) in accordance with the provisions of Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, which regulates circumstances under which an investment company may directly or indirectly bear expenses relating to the distribution of its shares. Continuance of the Plan must be approved annually by a majority of the Trustees and by a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plan or in any agreements related to the Plan (“Qualified Trustees”). The Plan requires that quarterly written reports of amounts spent under the Plan and the purposes of such expenditures be furnished to and reviewed by the Trustees. The Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount that may be spent thereunder without approval by a majority of the outstanding shares of the affected Fund(s). All material amendments of the Plan will require approval by a majority of the Trustees and of the Qualified Trustees.

 

The Plan provides a method of paying for distribution and shareholder services, which may help the Fund(s) grow or maintain asset levels to provide operational efficiencies and economies of scale, provided by the Distributor or other financial intermediaries that enter into agreements with the Distributor. The Fund(s) may make payments to financial intermediaries, such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund “supermarkets” and the Distributor’s affiliates and subsidiaries, as compensation for services, reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance or provision of shareholder services. The Distributor may, at its discretion, retain a portion of such payments to compensate itself for distribution services and distribution related expenses such as the costs of preparation, printing, mailing or otherwise disseminating sales literature, advertising, and prospectuses (other than those furnished to current shareholders of a Fund), promotional and incentive programs, and such other marketing expenses that the Distributor may incur.

 

S-31

 

Under the Plan, the Distributor or financial intermediaries may receive up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the Investor Class Shares as compensation for distribution and shareholder services. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution or shareholder service expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to financial intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rules concerning sales charges.

 

For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Funds paid the Distributor the following fees pursuant to the Plan:

 

 

Fund

12b-1 Fees Paid 12b-1 Fees Retained by the Distributor
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2017
LSV Value Equity Fund $11,861 $98,157 $526,895 $836 $1,387 $1,358
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund $109 $217 $268 $10 $15 $17
LSV Small Cap Value Fund $7,245 $46,601 $84,506 $33 $52 $64
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund $350 $15,954 $15,474 $74 $28 $127
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund $1,194 $431 $392 $37 $108 $66
LSV Global Value Fund $416 $904 $1,220 $25 $55 $32
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund N/A1 N/A1 N/A1 N/A1 N/A1 N/A1

 

1 Not in operation during the period.

 

Payments by the Adviser. The Adviser and/or its affiliates, in their discretion, may make payments from their own resources and not from Fund assets to affiliated or unaffiliated brokers, dealers, banks (including bank trust departments), trust companies, registered investment advisers, financial planners, retirement plan administrators, insurance companies, and any other institution having a service, administration, or any similar arrangement with the Funds, their service providers or their respective affiliates, as incentives to help market and promote the Funds and/or in recognition of their distribution, marketing, administrative services, and/or processing support.

 

These additional payments may be made to financial intermediaries that sell Fund shares or provide services to the Funds, the Distributor or shareholders of the Funds through the financial intermediary’s retail distribution channel and/or fund supermarkets. Payments may also be made through the financial intermediary’s retirement, qualified tuition, fee-based advisory, wrap fee bank trust, or insurance (e.g., individual or group annuity) programs. These payments may include, but are not limited to, placing the Funds in a financial intermediary’s retail distribution channel or on a preferred or recommended fund list; providing business or shareholder financial planning assistance; educating financial intermediary personnel about the Funds; providing access to sales and management representatives of the financial intermediary; promoting sales of Fund shares; providing marketing and educational support; maintaining share balances and/or for sub-accounting, administrative or shareholder transaction processing services. A financial intermediary may perform the services itself or may arrange with a third party to perform the services.

 

The Adviser and/or its affiliates may also make payments from their own resources to financial intermediaries for costs associated with the purchase of products or services used in connection with sales and marketing, participation in and/or presentation at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs, client and investor entertainment and other sponsored events. The costs and expenses associated with these efforts may include travel, lodging, sponsorship at educational seminars and conferences, entertainment and meals to the extent permitted by law.

 

S-32

 

Revenue sharing payments may be negotiated based on a variety of factors, including the level of sales, the amount of Fund assets attributable to investments in the Funds by financial intermediaries’ customers, a flat fee or other measures as determined from time to time by the Adviser and/or its affiliates. A significant purpose of these payments is to increase the sales of Fund shares, which in turn may benefit the Adviser through increased fees as Fund assets grow.

 

Investors should understand that some financial intermediaries may also charge their clients fees in connection with purchases of shares or the provision of shareholder services.

 

THE TRANSFER AGENT

 

DST Systems, Inc., 333 W. 11th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64105 (the “Transfer Agent”), serves as the Funds’ transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent under a transfer agency agreement with the Trust.

 

THE CUSTODIAN

 

U.S. Bank National Association, 800 Nicollett Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-4302 (the “Custodian”), acts as the custodian of the Funds. The Custodian holds cash, securities and other assets of the Funds as required by the 1940 Act.

 

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

Ernst & Young LLP, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, serves as independent registered public accounting firm for the Funds. The financial statements and notes thereto incorporated by reference have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, as indicated in their reports with respect thereto, and are incorporated by reference in reliance on the authority of their reports as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL

 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1701 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2921, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

SECURITIES LENDING

 

The Funds did not engage in securities lending activities during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018.

 

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE TRUST

 

Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series, including the Funds described in this SAI, are overseen by the Trustees. The Board has approved contracts, as described above, under which certain companies provide essential management services to the Trust.

 

Like most mutual funds, the day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third party service providers, such as the Adviser, the Distributor and the Administrator. The Trustees are responsible for overseeing the Trust’s service providers and, thus, have oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. 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 funds. The funds and their service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various 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. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust’s business (e.g., the Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of each Fund’s portfolio investments) and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to the funds’ service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.

 

S-33

 

The Trustees’ role in risk oversight begins before the inception of a fund, at which time certain of the fund’s service providers present the Board with information concerning the investment objective, strategies and risks of the fund as well as proposed investment limitations for the fund. Additionally, the fund’s adviser provides the Board with an overview of, among other things, its investment philosophy, brokerage practices and compliance infrastructure. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, as well as personnel of the adviser and other service providers, such as the fund’s independent accountants, make periodic reports to the Audit Committee or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board and the Audit Committee oversee efforts by management and service providers to manage risks to which the funds may be exposed.

 

The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the funds by the adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis, in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the advisory agreement with the adviser, the Board meets with the adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the adviser’s adherence to the funds’ investment restrictions and compliance with various fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the funds’ investments, including, for example, reports on the adviser’s use of derivatives in managing the funds, if any, as well as reports on the funds’ investments in other investment companies, if any.

 

The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues and fund and adviser risk assessments. At least annually, the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer provides the Board with a report reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s policies and procedures and those of its service providers, including the adviser. The report addresses the operation of the policies and procedures of the Trust and each service provider since the date of the last report; any material changes to the policies and procedures since the date of the last report; any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures; and any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.

 

The Board receives reports from the funds’ service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. The Trust’s Fair Value Pricing Committee makes regular reports to the Board concerning investments for which market quotations are not readily available. Annually, the independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit Committee its audit of the funds’ financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the funds and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the funds’ internal controls. Additionally, in connection with its oversight function, the Board oversees fund management’s implementation of disclosure controls and procedures, which are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Trust in its periodic reports with the SEC are recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods. The Board also oversees the Trust’s internal controls over financial reporting, which comprise policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the Trust’s financial reporting and the preparation of the Trust’s financial statements.

 

From their review of these reports and discussions with the adviser, the Chief Compliance Officer, the independent registered public accounting firm and other service providers, the Board and the Audit Committee learn in detail about the material risks of the funds, thereby facilitating a dialogue about how management and service providers identify and mitigate those risks.

 

The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the funds can be identified and/or quantified, 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 funds’ goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the funds’ investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the funds’ adviser and other service providers, each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the funds’ and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.

 

S-34

 

Members of the Board. There are eight members of the Board, six of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (“independent Trustees”). Robert Nesher, an interested person of the Trust, serves as Chairman of the Board. Joseph T. Grause, Jr., an independent Trustee, serves as the lead independent Trustee. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the independent Trustees constitute a super majority (75%) of the Board, the fact that the chairperson of each Committee of the Board is an independent Trustee, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds (and classes of shares) overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the independent Trustees from fund management.

 

The Board has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and the Governance Committee. The Audit Committee and the Governance Committee are chaired by an independent Trustee and composed of all of the independent Trustees. In addition, the Board has a lead independent Trustee.

 

In his role as lead independent Trustee, Mr. Grause, among other things: (i) presides over Board meetings in the absence of the Chairman of the Board; (ii) presides over executive sessions of the independent Trustees; (iii) along with the Chairman of the Board, oversees the development of agendas for Board meetings; (iv) facilitates communication between the independent Trustees and management, and among the independent Trustees; (v) serves as a key point person for dealings between the independent Trustees and management; and (vi) has such other responsibilities as the Board or independent Trustees determine from time to time.

 

Set forth below are the names, years of birth, position with the Trust and length of time served, and the principal occupations and other directorships held during at least the last five years of each of the persons currently serving as a Trustee. There is no stated term of office for the Trustees. Nevertheless, an independent Trustee must retire from the Board as of the end of the calendar year in which such independent Trustee first attains the age of seventy-five years; provided, however, that, an independent Trustee may continue to serve for one or more additional one calendar year terms after attaining the age of seventy-five years (each calendar year a “Waiver Term”) if, and only if, prior to the beginning of such Waiver Term: (1) the Governance Committee (a) meets to review the performance of the independent Trustee; (b) finds that the continued service of such independent Trustee is in the best interests of the Trust; and (c) unanimously approves excepting the independent Trustee from the general retirement policy set out above; and (2) a majority of the Trustees approves excepting the independent Trustee from the general retirement policy set out above. Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each Trustee is SEI Investments Company, One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456.

 

S-35

 

Name and Year

of Birth

Position with Trust

and Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held

in the Past 5 Years

Interested Trustees

Robert Nesher

(Born: 1946)

Chairman of the Board of Trustees1

(since 1991)

SEI employee 1974 to present; currently performs various services on behalf of SEI Investments for which Mr. Nesher is compensated. President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. President and Director of SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP. President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of SEI Alpha Strategy Portfolios, LP, 2007 to 2013. President and Director of SEI Opportunity Fund, L.P. to 2010. Vice Chairman of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016. Vice Chairman of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Vice Chairman of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company), The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III, Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust and Schroder Global Series Trust to 2018.

Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. Director of SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP, SEI Global Master Fund plc, SEI Global Assets Fund plc, SEI Global Investments Fund plc, SEI Investments-Global Funds Services, Limited, SEI Investments Global, Limited, SEI Investments (Europe) Ltd., SEI Investments-Unit Trust Management (UK) Limited, SEI Multi-Strategy Funds PLC and SEI Global Nominee Ltd.

 

Former Directorships: Director of SEI Opportunity Fund, L.P. to 2010. Director of SEI Alpha Strategy Portfolios, LP to 2013. Trustee of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016.

 

S-36

 

Name and Year

of Birth

Position with Trust

and Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held

in the Past 5 Years

N. Jeffrey Klauder

(Born: 1952)

Trustee1

(since 2018)

Senior Advisor of SEI Investments since 2018. Executive Vice President and General Counsel of SEI Investments, 2004 to 2018. Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds and The KP Funds. Director of SEI Private Trust Company; SEI Investments Management Corporation; SEI Trust Company; SEI Investments (South Africa), Limited; SEI Investments (Canada) Company; SEI Global Fund Services Ltd.; SEI Investments Global Limited; SEI Global Master Fund; SEI Global Investments Fund; and SEI Global Assets Fund.
Independent Trustees

Joseph T. Grause, Jr.

(Born: 1952)

Trustee

(since 2011)

Lead Independent Trustee

(since 2018)

Self-Employed Consultant since 2012. Director of Endowments and Foundations, Morningstar Investment Management, Morningstar, Inc., 2010 to 2011. Director of International Consulting and Chief Executive Officer of Morningstar Associates Europe Limited, Morningstar, Inc., 2007 to 2010. Country Manager - Morningstar UK Limited, Morningstar, Inc., 2005 to 2007. Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds and The KP Funds. Director of The Korea Fund, Inc.

Mitchell A. Johnson

(Born: 1942)

Trustee

(since 2005)

Retired. Private Investor since 1994.

Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. Director of Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) since 1997.

 

Former Directorships: Director of SEI Alpha Strategy Portfolios, LP to 2013. Trustee of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016.

 

S-37

 

Name and Year

of Birth

Position with Trust

and Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held

in the Past 5 Years

Betty L. Krikorian

(Born: 1943)

Trustee

(since 2005)

Vice President, Compliance, AARP Financial Inc., from 2008 to 2010. Self-Employed Legal and Financial Services Consultant since 2003. Counsel (in-house) for State Street Bank from 1995 to 2003. Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds and The KP Funds.

Bruce Speca

(Born: 1956)

Trustee

(since 2011)

Global Head of Asset Allocation, Manulife Asset Management (subsidiary of Manulife Financial), 2010 to 2011. Executive Vice President - Investment Management Services, John Hancock Financial Services (subsidiary of Manulife Financial), 2003 to 2010. Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds and The KP Funds. Director of Stone Harbor Investments Funds, Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund (closed-end fund) and Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund (closed-end fund).

George J. Sullivan, Jr.

(Born: 1942)

 

Trustee

(since 1999)

Retired since 2012. Self-Employed Consultant, Newfound Consultants Inc., 1997 to 2011.

Current Directorships: Trustee/Director of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds, SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust.

 

Former Directorships: Director of SEI Alpha Strategy Portfolios, LP to 2013. Trustee of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016. Trustee/ Director of State Street Navigator Securities Lending Trust to 2017. Member of the independent review committee for SEI’s Canadian-registered mutual funds to 2017.

 

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Name and Year

of Birth

Position with Trust

and Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held

in the Past 5 Years

Tracie E. Ahern

(Born: 1968)

Trustee

(since 2018)

Principal, Danesmead Partners since 2016; Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Brightwood Capital Advisors LLC, 2015 to 2016; Advisor, Brightwood Capital Advisors LLC, 2016; Chief Financial Officer, Soros Fund Management LLC, 2007 to 2015. Current Directorships: Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds and Symmetry Panoramic Trust.

 

1 Denotes Trustees who may be deemed to be “interested” persons of the Funds as that term is defined in the 1940 Act by virtue of their affiliation with the Distributor and/or its affiliates.

 

Individual Trustee Qualifications

 

The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve on the Board because of their ability to review and understand information about the Funds provided to them by management, to identify and request other information they may deem relevant to the performance of their duties, to question management and other service providers regarding material factors bearing on the management and administration of the Funds, and to exercise their business judgment in a manner that serves the best interests of the Funds’ shareholders. The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve as a Trustee based on their own experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as described below.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Nesher should serve as Trustee because of the experience he has gained in his various roles with SEI Investments Company, which he joined in 1974, his knowledge of and experience in the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving as a trustee of the Trust since 1991.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Klauder should serve as Trustee because of the experience he has gained in his various roles with SEI Investments, which he joined in 2004, his knowledge of and experience in the financial services industry, and the experience he gained serving as a partner of a large law firm.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Grause should serve as Trustee because of the knowledge and experience he gained in a variety of leadership roles with different financial institutions, his knowledge of the mutual fund and investment management industries, his past experience as an interested trustee and chair of the investment committee for a multi-managed investment company, and the experience he has gained serving as a trustee of the Trust since 2011.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Johnson should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained as a senior vice president, corporate finance, of a Fortune 500 company, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services and banking industries, the experience he gained serving as a director of other mutual funds, and the experience he has gained serving as a trustee of the Trust since 2005.

 

The Trust has concluded that Ms. Krikorian should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as a legal and financial services consultant, in-house counsel to a large custodian bank and Vice President of Compliance of an investment adviser, her background in fiduciary and banking law, her experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience she has gained serving as a trustee of the Trust since 2005.

 

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The Trust has concluded that Mr. Speca should serve as Trustee because of the knowledge and experience he gained serving as president of a mutual fund company and portfolio manager for a $95 billion complex of asset allocation funds, his over 25 years of experience working in a management capacity with mutual fund boards, and the experience he has gained serving as a trustee of the Trust since 2011.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Sullivan should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained as a certified public accountant and financial consultant, his experience in and knowledge of public company accounting and auditing and the financial services industry, the experience he gained as an officer of a large financial services firm in its operations department, and his experience from serving as a trustee of the Trust since 1999.

 

The Trust has concluded that Ms. Ahern should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained in numerous finance, accounting, tax, compliance and administration roles in the investment management industry, and her experience serving as a director of multiple hedge funds, private equity funds and non-profit organizations.

 

In its periodic assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board’s overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the funds.

 

Board Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees:

 

Audit Committee. The Board has a standing Audit Committee that is composed of each of the independent Trustees. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: (i) recommending which firm to engage as each fund’s independent registered public accounting firm and whether to terminate this relationship; (ii) reviewing the independent registered public accounting firm’s compensation, the proposed scope and terms of its engagement, and the firm’s independence; (iii) pre-approving audit and non-audit services provided by each fund’s independent registered public accounting firm to the Trust and certain other affiliated entities; (iv) serving as a channel of communication between the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trustees; (v) reviewing the results of each external audit, including any qualifications in the independent registered public accounting firm’s opinion, any related management letter, management’s responses to recommendations made by the independent registered public accounting firm in connection with the audit, reports submitted to the Committee by the internal auditing department of the Administrator that are material to the Trust as a whole, if any, and management’s responses to any such reports; (vi) reviewing each fund’s audited financial statements and considering any significant disputes between the Trust’s management and the independent registered public accounting firm that arose in connection with the preparation of those financial statements; (vii) considering, in consultation with the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trust’s senior internal accounting executive, if any, the independent registered public accounting firms’ reports on the adequacy of the Trust’s internal financial controls; (viii) reviewing, in consultation with each fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, major changes regarding auditing and accounting principles and practices to be followed when preparing each fund’s financial statements; and (ix) other audit related matters. Messrs. Grause, Johnson, Speca and Sullivan and Mses. Krikorian and Ahern currently serve as members of the Audit Committee. Ms. Ahern serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee meets periodically, as necessary, and met four (4) times during the most recently completed fiscal year.

 

Governance Committee. The Board has a standing Governance Committee (formerly the Nominating Committee) that is composed of each of the independent Trustees. The Governance Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Governance Committee include: (i) considering and reviewing Board governance and compensation issues; (ii) conducting a self-assessment of the Board’s operations; (iii) selecting and nominating all persons to serve as independent Trustees; and (iv) reviewing shareholder recommendations for nominations to fill vacancies on the Board if such recommendations are submitted in writing and addressed to the Committee at the Trust’s office. Mses. Krikorian and Ahern and Messrs. Grause, Johnson, Speca and Sullivan currently serve as members of the Governance Committee. Mr. Speca serves as the Chairman of the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee meets periodically, as necessary, and met four (4) times during the most recently completed fiscal year.

 

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Fair Value Pricing Committee. The Board has also established a standing Fair Value Pricing Committee that is composed of various representatives of the Trust’s service providers, as appointed by the Board. The Fair Value Pricing Committee operates under procedures approved by the Board. The principal responsibility of the Fair Value Pricing Committee is to determine the fair value of securities for which current market quotations are not readily available. The Fair Value Pricing Committee’s determinations are reviewed by the Board.

 

Fund Shares Owned by Board Members. The following table shows the dollar amount range of each Trustee’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of each of the Funds as of the end of the most recently completed calendar year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the 1934 Act. The Trustees and officers of the Trust own less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Trust.

 

Name

Dollar Range of Fund Shares

(Fund)1

Aggregate Dollar Range of Shares

(All Funds in the Family of Investment Companies)1, 2

Interested Trustees
Nesher None None
Klauder None None
Independent Trustees    
Grause None None
Johnson None None
Krikorian None None
Speca None None
Sullivan None None
Ahern None None

 

1 Valuation date is December 31, 2018.
2 The Funds are the only funds in the family of investment companies.

 

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Board Compensation. The Trust paid the following fees to the Trustees during the Funds’ most recently completed fiscal year.

 

Name Aggregate
Compensation
from the Trust
Pension or
Retirement
Benefits Accrued
as Part of Fund
Expenses
Estimated
Annual Benefits
Upon Retirement
Total Compensation from the
Trust and Fund Complex1
Interested Trustees
Nesher $0 N/A N/A $0 for service on one (1) board
Klauder2 $0 N/A N/A $0 for service on one (1) board
Independent Trustees
Grause $126,043 N/A N/A $126,043 for service on one (1) board
Johnson $116,450 N/A N/A $116,450 for service on one (1) board
Krikorian $126,743 N/A N/A $126,743 for service on one (1) board
Speca $116,450 N/A N/A $116,450 for service on one (1) board
Sullivan $131,038 N/A N/A $131,038 for service on one (1) board
Ahern2 $58,561 N/A N/A $58,561 for service on one (1) board

 

1 All funds in the Fund Complex are series of the Trust.
2 Joined the Board on March 26, 2018.

 

Trust Officers. Set forth below are the names, years of birth, position with the Trust and length of time served, and the principal occupations for the last five years of each of the persons currently serving as executive officers of the Trust. There is no stated term of office for the officers of the Trust. Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each officer is SEI Investments Company, One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456. The Chief Compliance Officer is the only officer who receives compensation from the Trust for his services.

 

Certain officers of the Trust also serve as officers of one or more mutual funds for which SEI Investments Company or its affiliates act as investment manager, administrator or distributor.

 

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Name and
Year of Birth
Position with Trust and
Length of Time Served
Principal Occupations in Past 5 Years

Michael Beattie

(Born: 1965)

President

(since 2011)

Director of Client Service, SEI Investments, since 2004.

James Bernstein

(Born: 1962)

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

(since 2017)

Attorney, SEI Investments, since 2017.

 

Prior Positions: Self-employed consultant, 2017. Associate General Counsel & Vice President, Nationwide Funds Group and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, from 2002 to 2016. Assistant General Counsel & Vice President, Market Street Funds and Provident Mutual Insurance Company, from 1999 to 2002.

John Bourgeois

(Born: 1973)

Assistant Treasurer

(since 2017)

Fund Accounting Manager, SEI Investments, since 2000.

Stephen Connors

(Born: 1984)

Treasurer, Controller and Chief Financial Officer

(since 2015)

Director, SEI Investments, Fund Accounting, since 2014. Audit Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP, from 2011 to 2014.

Dianne M. Descoteaux

(Born: 1977)

Vice President and Secretary

(since 2011)

Counsel at SEI Investments since 2010. Associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, from 2006 to 2010.

Russell Emery

(Born: 1962)

Chief Compliance Officer

(since 2006)

Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP since 2007. Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Alpha Strategy Portfolios, LP from 2007 to 2013. Chief Compliance Officer of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds, The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III, Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Opportunity Fund, L.P. to 2010. Chief Compliance Officer of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016. Chief Compliance Officer of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Chief Compliance Officer of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

Matthew M. Maher

(Born: 1975)

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

(since 2018)

Counsel at SEI Investments since 2018. Attorney, Blank Rome LLP, from 2015 to 2018. Assistant Counsel & Vice President, Bank of New York Mellon, from 2013 to 2014. Attorney, Dilworth Paxson LLP, from 2006 to 2013.

Robert Morrow

(Born: 1968)

Vice President

(since 2017)

Account Manager, SEI Investments, since 2007.

Bridget E. Sudall

(Born: 1980)

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer

(since 2015)

Senior Associate and AML Officer, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, from 2011 to 2015. Investor Services Team Lead, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, from 2007 to 2011.

 

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PURCHASING AND REDEEMING SHARES

 

Purchases and redemptions may be made through the Transfer Agent on any day the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) is open for business. Shares of the Funds are offered and redeemed on a continuous basis. Currently, the Trust is closed for business when the following holidays are observed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

It is currently the Trust’s policy to pay all redemptions in cash. The Trust retains the right, however, to alter this policy to provide for redemptions in whole or in part by a distribution in-kind of securities held by a Fund in lieu of cash. Shareholders may incur brokerage charges on the sale of any such securities so received in payment of redemptions. A shareholder will at all times be entitled to aggregate cash redemptions from all funds of the Trust up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the Trust’s net assets during any 90-day period.

 

The Trust reserves the right to suspend the right of redemption and/or to postpone the date of payment upon redemption for more than seven days during times when the NYSE is closed, other than during customary weekends or holidays, for any period on which trading on the NYSE is restricted (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation), or during the existence of an emergency (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation) as a result of which disposal or valuation of the Funds’ securities is not reasonably practicable, or for such other periods as the SEC has by order permitted. The Trust also reserves the right to suspend sales of shares of any Fund for any period during which the NYSE, the Adviser, the Administrator, the Transfer Agent and/or the Custodian are not open for business.

 

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

 

General Policy. The Funds adhere to Section 2(a)(41), and Rule 2a-4 thereunder, of the 1940 Act with respect to the valuation of portfolio securities. In general, securities for which market quotations are readily available are valued at current market value, and all other securities are valued at fair value in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board. In complying with the 1940 Act, the Trust relies on guidance provided by the SEC and by the SEC staff in various interpretive letters and other guidance.

 

Equity Securities. Securities listed on a securities exchange, market or automated quotation system for which quotations are readily available (except for securities traded on NASDAQ), including securities traded over-the-counter, are valued at the last quoted sale price on an exchange or market (foreign or domestic) on which they are traded on the valuation date (or at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time if such exchange is normally open at that time), or, if there is no such reported sale on the valuation date, at the most recent quoted bid price. For securities traded on NASDAQ, the NASDAQ Official Closing Price will be used. If such prices are not available or determined to not represent the fair value of the security as of the Funds’ pricing time, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

Money Market Securities and other Debt Securities. If available, money market securities and other debt securities are priced based upon valuations provided by recognized independent, third-party pricing agents. Such values generally reflect the last reported sales price if the security is actively traded. The third-party pricing agents may also value debt securities by employing methodologies that utilize actual market transactions, broker-supplied valuations, or other methodologies designed to identify the market value for such securities. Such methodologies generally consider such factors as security prices, yields, maturities, call features, ratings and developments relating to specific securities in arriving at valuations. Money market securities and other debt securities with remaining maturities of sixty days or less may be valued at their amortized cost, which approximates market value. If such prices are not available or determined to not represent the fair value of the security as of each Fund’s pricing time, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

S-44

 

Foreign Securities. The prices for foreign securities are reported in local currency and converted to U.S. dollars using currency exchange rates. Exchange rates are provided daily by recognized independent pricing agents.

 

Derivatives and Other Complex Securities. Exchange traded options on securities and indices purchased by the Funds generally are valued at their last trade price or, if there is no last trade price, the last bid price. Exchange traded options on securities and indices written by the Funds generally are valued at their last trade price or, if there is no last trade price, the last asked price. In the case of options traded in the over-the-counter market, if the OTC option is also an exchange traded option, the Funds will follow the rules regarding the valuation of exchange traded options. If the OTC option is not also an exchange traded option, the Funds will value the option at fair value in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board.

 

Futures and swaps cleared through a central clearing house (“centrally cleared swaps”) are valued at the settlement price established each day by the board of the exchange on which they are traded. The daily settlement prices for financial futures are provided by an independent source. On days when there is excessive volume or market volatility, or the future or centrally cleared swap does not end trading by the time the Funds calculate net asset value, the settlement price may not be available at the time at which each Fund calculates its net asset value. On such days, the best available price (which is typically the last sales price) may be used to value a Fund’s futures or centrally cleared swaps position.

 

Foreign currency forward contracts are valued at the current day’s interpolated foreign exchange rate, as calculated using the current day’s spot rate, and the thirty, sixty, ninety and one-hundred eighty day forward rates provided by an independent source.

 

If available, non-centrally cleared swaps, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized loan obligations and bank loans are priced based on valuations provided by an independent third party pricing agent. If a price is not available from an independent third party pricing agent, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

Use of Third-Party Independent Pricing Agents and Independent Brokers. Pursuant to contracts with the Administrator, prices for most securities held by the Funds are provided daily by third-party independent pricing agents that are approved by the Board. The valuations provided by third-party independent pricing agents are reviewed daily by the Administrator.

 

If a security price cannot be obtained from an independent, third-party pricing agent, the Administrator shall seek to obtain a bid price from at least one independent broker.

 

Fair Value Procedures. Securities for which market prices are not “readily available” or which cannot be valued using the methodologies described above are valued in accordance with Fair Value Procedures established by the Board and implemented through the Fair Value Pricing Committee. The members of the Fair Value Pricing Committee report, as necessary, to the Board regarding portfolio valuation determinations. The Board, from time to time, will review these methods of valuation and will recommend changes which may be necessary to assure that the investments of the Funds are valued at fair value.

 

Some of the more common reasons that may necessitate a security being valued using Fair Value Procedures include: the security’s trading has been halted or suspended; the security has been de-listed from a national exchange; the security’s primary trading market is temporarily closed at a time when under normal conditions it would be open; the security has not been traded for an extended period of time; the security’s primary pricing source is not able or willing to provide a price; trading of the security is subject to local government-imposed restrictions; or a significant event with respect to a security has occurred after the close of the market or exchange on which the security principally trades and before the time the Funds calculate net asset value. When a security is valued in accordance with the Fair Value Procedures, the Fair Value Pricing Committee will determine the value after taking into consideration relevant information reasonably available to the Fair Value Pricing Committee.

 

Fair Valuation of Foreign Securities Based on U.S. Market Movements.  A third party fair valuation vendor provides a fair value for foreign securities held by the LSV Global Value Fund, LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund and LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund based on certain factors and methodologies (involving, generally, tracking valuation correlations between the U.S. market and each foreign security) applied by the fair valuation vendor in the event that there are movements in the U.S. market that exceed a specific threshold that has been established by the Fair Value Pricing Committee. The Fair Value Pricing Committee has also established a “confidence interval” that is used to determine the level of correlation between the value of a foreign security and movements in the U.S. market that is required for a particular security to be fair valued when the threshold is exceeded. In the event that the threshold established by the Fair Value Pricing Committee is exceeded on a specific day, the Funds value the foreign securities in their portfolios that exceed the applicable “confidence interval” based upon the fair values provided by the fair valuation vendor. In such event, it is not necessary to hold a Fair Value Pricing Committee meeting. In the event that the Adviser believes that the fair values provided by the fair valuation vendor are not reliable, the Adviser can contact the Administrator and request that a meeting of the Fair Value Pricing Committee be held.

 

S-45

 

TAXES

 

The following is only a summary of certain additional U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Funds and their shareholders that is intended to supplement the discussion contained in the Prospectuses. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of the tax treatment of the Funds or their shareholders, and the discussion here and in each Fund’s Prospectus is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors with specific reference to their own tax situations, including their state, local, and foreign tax liabilities.

 

The following general discussion of certain federal income tax consequences is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this SAI. New legislation, as well as administrative changes or court decisions, may significantly change the conclusions expressed herein, and may have a retroactive effect with respect to the transactions contemplated herein.

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) makes significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules only applicable to a regulated investment company (“RIC”), such as a Fund. The Tax Act, however, makes numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and the Funds. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Funds.

 

Qualification as a Regulated Investment Company. Each Fund intends to qualify and elect to be treated as a RIC. By following such a policy, the Funds expect to eliminate or reduce to a nominal amount the federal taxes to which they may be subject. A Fund that qualifies as a RIC will generally not be subject to federal income taxes on the net investment income and net realized capital gains that the Fund timely distributes to its shareholders. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

 

In order to qualify as a RIC under the Code, each Fund must distribute annually to its shareholders at least 90% of its net investment income (which, includes dividends, taxable interest, and the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, less operating expenses) and at least 90% of its net tax exempt interest income, for each tax year, if any (the “Distribution Requirement”) and also must meet certain additional requirements. Among these requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of each Fund’s gross income each taxable year must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities, or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities, or currencies, and net income derived from an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership (the “Qualifying Income Test”); and (ii) at the close of each quarter of each Fund’s taxable year: (A) at least 50% of the value of each Fund’s total assets must be represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of each Fund’s total assets and that does not represent more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer including the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership, and (B) not more than 25% of the value of each Fund’s total assets is invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other RICs) of any one issuer or the securities (other than the securities of another RIC) of two or more issuers that a Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Asset Test”).

 

Although the Funds intend to distribute substantially all of their net investment income and may distribute their capital gains for any taxable year, the Funds will be subject to federal income taxation to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. Each Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal income tax purposes. A Fund therefore is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein. Losses in one Fund do not offset gains in another and the requirements (other than certain organizational requirements) for qualifying RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than at the Trust level.

 

S-46

 

If a Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income or Asset Tests in any taxable year, such Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the diversification requirements where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period. If a Fund fails to maintain qualification as a RIC for a tax year, and the relief provisions are not available, such Fund will be subject to federal income tax at the regular corporate rate (which the Tax Act reduced to 21%) without any deduction for distributions to shareholders. In such case, its shareholders would be taxed as if they received ordinary dividends, although corporate shareholders could be eligible for the dividends received deduction (subject to certain limitations) and individuals may be able to benefit from the lower tax rates available to qualified dividend income. In addition, a Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a RIC. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

 

A Fund may elect to treat part or all of any “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year. A “qualified late year loss” generally includes net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (commonly referred to as “post-October losses”) and certain other late-year losses.

 

The treatment of capital loss carryovers for the Funds is similar to the rules that apply to capital loss carryovers of individuals, which provide that such losses are carried over indefinitely. If a Fund has a “net capital loss” (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains), for a taxable year beginning after December 22, 2010 (a “Post-2010 Loss”), the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the Fund’s net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year. A Fund’s unused capital loss carryforwards that arose in taxable years that began on or before December 22, 2010 (“Pre-2011 Losses”) are available to be applied against future capital gains, if any, realized by the Fund prior to the expiration of those carryforwards, generally eight years after the year in which they arose. A Fund’s Post-2010 Losses must be fully utilized before the Fund will be permitted to utilize carryforwards of Pre-2011 Losses. In addition, the carryover of capital losses may be limited under the general loss limitation rules if a Fund experiences an ownership change as defined in the Code.

 

Federal Excise Tax. Notwithstanding the Distribution Requirement described above, which generally requires a Fund to distribute at least 90% of its annual investment company taxable income and the excess of its exempt interest income (but does not require any minimum distribution of net capital gain), a Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax to the extent it fails to distribute by the end of the calendar year at least 98% of its ordinary income and 98.2% of its capital gain net income (the excess of short- and long-term capital gains over short- and long-term capital losses) for the one-year period ending on October 31 of such year (including any retained amount from the prior calendar year on which a Fund paid no federal income tax). The Funds intend to make sufficient distributions to avoid liability for federal excise tax, but can make no assurances that such tax will be completely eliminated. A Fund may in certain circumstances be required to liquidate Fund investments in order to make sufficient distributions to avoid federal excise tax liability at a time when the Adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so, and liquidation of investments in such circumstances may affect the ability of the Fund to satisfy the requirement for qualification as a RIC.

 

S-47

 

Distributions to Shareholders. Each Fund receives income generally in the form of dividends and interest on investments. This income, plus net short-term capital gains, if any, less expenses incurred in the operation of a Fund, constitutes the Fund’s net investment income from which dividends may be paid to you. Any distributions by the Funds from such income will be taxable to you as ordinary income or at the lower capital gains rates that apply to individuals receiving qualified dividend income, whether you take them in cash or in additional shares.

 

Distributions by the Funds are currently eligible for the reduced maximum tax rate to individuals of 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets) to the extent that the Funds receive qualified dividend income on the securities they hold and the Funds report the distributions as qualified dividend income. Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations (e.g., foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or in certain countries with a comprehensive tax treaty with the United States, or the stock of which is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States). A dividend will not be treated as qualified dividend income to the extent that: (i) the shareholder has not held the shares on which the dividend was paid for more than 60 days during the 121-day period that begins on the date that is 60 days before the date on which the shares become “ex-dividend” (which is the day on which declared distributions (dividends or capital gains) are deducted from each Fund’s assets before it calculates the net asset value) with respect to such dividend, (ii) each Fund has not satisfied similar holding period requirements with respect to the securities it holds that paid the dividends distributed to the shareholder, (iii) the shareholder is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to substantially similar or related property, or (iv) the shareholder elects to treat such dividend as investment income under section 163(d)(4)(B) of the Code. Therefore, if you lend your shares in a Fund, such as pursuant to a securities lending arrangement, you may lose the ability to treat dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as qualified dividend income. Capital gain distributions consisting of the Funds’ net capital gains will be taxable as long-term capital gains for individual shareholders currently set at a maximum rate of 20% regardless of how long you have held your shares in such Funds.

 

In the case of corporate shareholders, Fund distributions (other than capital gain distributions) generally qualify for the dividends-received deduction to the extent such distributions are so reported and do not exceed the gross amount of qualifying dividends received by such Fund for the year. Generally, and subject to certain limitations (including certain holding period limitations), a dividend will be treated as a qualifying dividend if it has been received from a domestic corporation.

 

To the extent that a Fund makes a distribution of income received by such Fund in lieu of dividends (a “substitute payment”) with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction, such income will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.

 

If a Fund’s distributions exceed its taxable income and capital gains realized during a taxable year, all or a portion of the distributions made in the same taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce each shareholder’s cost basis in a Fund and result in a higher reported capital gain or lower reported capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold.

 

A dividend or distribution received shortly after the purchase of shares reduces the net asset value of the shares by the amount of the dividend or distribution and, although in effect a return of capital, will be taxable to the shareholder. If the net asset value of shares were reduced below the shareholder’s cost by dividends or distributions representing gains realized on sales of securities, such dividends or distributions would be a return of investment though taxable to the shareholder in the same manner as other dividends or distributions.

 

The Funds (or their administrative agents) will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income dividends, qualified dividend income and capital gain distributions, if any, and will advise you of their tax status for federal income tax purposes shortly after the close of each calendar year. If you have not held Fund shares for a full year, the Funds may report and distribute to you, as ordinary income, qualified dividend income or capital gain, a percentage of income that is not equal to the actual amount of such income earned during the period of your investment in the Funds.

 

S-48

 

Dividends declared to shareholders of record in October, November or December and actually paid in January of the following year will be treated as having been received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which declared. Under this rule, therefore, a shareholder may be taxed in one year on dividends or distributions actually received in January of the following year.

 

Sales, Exchanges or Redemptions. Any gain or loss recognized on a sale, exchange, or redemption of shares of the Funds by a shareholder who is not a dealer in securities will generally, for individual shareholders, be treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than twelve months and otherwise will be treated as a short-term capital gain or loss. However, if shares on which a shareholder has received a net capital gain distribution are subsequently sold, exchanged, or redeemed and such shares have been held for six months or less, any loss recognized will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of the net capital gain distribution. In addition, the loss realized on a sale or other disposition of shares will be disallowed to the extent a shareholder repurchases (or enters into a contract to or option to repurchase) shares within a period of 61 days (beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of the shares). This loss disallowance rule will apply to shares received through the reinvestment of dividends during the 61-day period. For tax purposes, an exchange of your Fund shares for shares of a different fund is the same as a sale.

 

The Funds (or their administrative agents) must report to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and furnish to Fund shareholders cost basis information for Fund shares. In addition to reporting the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares, the Funds are also required to report the cost basis information for such shares and indicate whether these shares had a short-term or long-term holding period. For each sale of Fund shares, the Funds will permit shareholders to elect from among several IRS-accepted cost basis methods, including the average basis method. In the absence of an election, the Funds will use the average basis method as the default cost basis method. The cost basis method elected by the Fund shareholder (or the cost basis method applied by default) for each sale of Fund shares may not be changed after the settlement date of each such sale of Fund shares. Fund shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the best IRS-accepted cost basis method for their tax situation and to obtain more information about how cost basis reporting applies to them. Shareholders also should carefully review any cost basis information provided to them and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on their federal income tax returns.

 

U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly) are subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on their “net investment income,” including interest, dividends, and capital gains (including capital gains realized on the sale or exchange of shares of a Fund).

 

Tax Treatment of Complex Securities. The Funds may invest in complex securities. These investments may be subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect a Fund’s ability to qualify as a RIC, affect whether gains and losses recognized by the Funds are treated as ordinary income or capital gain, accelerate the recognition of income to the Funds and/or defer the Funds’ ability to recognize losses, and, in limited cases, subject the Funds to U.S. federal income tax on income from certain of their foreign securities. In turn, these rules may affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to you by the Funds.

 

A Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies and forward foreign currency contracts will generally be subject to special provisions of the Code that, among other things, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require a Fund to mark-to-market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the Distribution Requirements and for avoiding the excise tax described above. The Funds intend to monitor their transactions, intend to make the appropriate tax elections, and intend to make the appropriate entries in their books and records when they acquire any foreign currency or forward foreign currency contract in order to mitigate the effect of these rules so as to prevent disqualification of a Fund as a RIC and minimize the imposition of income and excise taxes.

 

S-49

 

If a Fund owns shares in certain foreign investment entities, referred to as “passive foreign investment companies” or “PFICs”, the Fund will generally be subject to one of the following special tax regimes: (i) the Fund may be liable for U.S. federal income tax, and an additional interest charge, on a portion of any “excess distribution” from such foreign entity or any gain from the disposition of such shares, even if the entire distribution or gain is paid out by the Fund as a dividend to its shareholders; (ii) if the Fund were able and elected to treat a PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” or “QEF”, the Fund would be required each year to include in income, and distribute to shareholders in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above, the Fund’s pro rata share of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the PFIC, whether or not such earnings or gains are distributed to the Fund; or (iii) the Fund may be entitled to mark-to-market annually shares of the PFIC, and in such event would be required to distribute to shareholders any such mark-to-market gains in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above. Each Fund intends to make the appropriate tax elections, if possible, and take any additional steps that are necessary to mitigate the effect of these rules.

 

Foreign Taxes. Dividends and interest received by a Fund may be subject to income, withholding or other taxes imposed by foreign countries and U.S. possessions that would reduce the yield on the Fund’s stock or securities. Tax conventions between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate these taxes. Foreign countries generally do not impose taxes on capital gains with respect to investments by foreign investors.

 

If more than 50% of the value of a Fund’s total assets at the close of its taxable year consists of stocks or securities of foreign corporations, the Fund will be eligible to and intends to file an election with the IRS that may enable shareholders, in effect, to receive either the benefit of a foreign tax credit, or a deduction from such taxes, with respect to any foreign and U.S. possessions income taxes paid by the Fund, subject to certain limitations. Pursuant to the election, such Fund will treat those taxes as dividends paid to its shareholders. Each such shareholder will be required to include a proportionate share of those taxes in gross income as income received from a foreign source and must treat the amount so included as if the shareholder had paid the foreign tax directly. The shareholder may then either deduct the taxes deemed paid by him or her in computing his or her taxable income or, alternatively, use the foregoing information in calculating any foreign tax credit they may be entitled to use against the shareholders’ federal income tax. If a Fund makes the election, the Fund (or its administrative agent) will report annually to its shareholders the respective amounts per share of the Fund’s income from sources within, and taxes paid to, foreign countries and U.S. possessions. If a Fund does not hold sufficient foreign securities to meet the above threshold, then shareholders will not be entitled to claim a credit or further deduction with respect to foreign taxes paid by such Fund.

 

A shareholder’s ability to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of foreign taxes paid by a Fund may be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, which may result in a shareholder not receiving a full credit or deduction (if any) for the amount of such taxes. In particular, shareholders must hold their Fund shares (without protection from risk of loss) on the ex-dividend date and for at least 15 additional days during the 30-day period surrounding the ex-dividend date to be eligible to claim a foreign tax credit with respect to a given dividend. Shareholders who do not itemize on their federal income tax returns may claim a credit (but no deduction) for such foreign taxes. Even if a Fund were eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. Shareholders that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax, and those who invest in a Fund through tax-advantaged accounts (including those who invest through individual retirement accounts or other tax-advantaged retirement plans), generally will receive no benefit from any tax credit or deduction passed through by a Fund.

 

Backup Withholding. A Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold at a rate of 24% and remit to the U.S. Treasury the amount withheld on amounts payable to any shareholder who: (i) has provided the Fund either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all; (ii) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends; (iii) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to backup withholding; or (iv) has failed to certify to the Fund that the shareholder is a U.S. person (including a resident alien).

 

S-50

 

Tax-Exempt Shareholders. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k)s, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Under the Tax Act, tax-exempt entities are not permitted to offset losses from one trade or business against the income or gain of another trade or business. Certain net losses incurred prior to January 1, 2018 are permitted to offset gain and income created by an unrelated trade or business, if otherwise available. Under current law, the Funds generally serve to block UBTI from being realized by their tax-exempt shareholders. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, the tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of an investment in a Fund where, for example: (i) the Fund invests in residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”), (ii) the Fund invests in a REIT that is a taxable mortgage pool (“TMP”) or that has a subsidiary that is a TMP or that invests in the residual interest of a REMIC, or (iii) shares in the Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Code. Charitable remainder trusts are subject to special rules and should consult their tax advisor. The IRS has issued guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult their tax advisors regarding these issues.

 

The Funds’ shares held in a tax-qualified retirement account will generally not be subject to federal taxation on income and capital gains distributions from a Fund until a shareholder begins receiving payments from its retirement account. Because each shareholder’s tax situation is different, shareholders should consult their tax advisor about the tax implications of an investment in the Funds.

 

Non-U.S. Investors. Any non-U.S. investors in the Funds may be subject to U.S. withholding and estate tax and are encouraged to consult their tax advisors prior to investing in the Funds. Foreign shareholders (i.e., nonresident alien individuals and foreign corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates) are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or a lower tax treaty rate) on distributions derived from taxable ordinary income. A Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Short-term capital gain dividends received by a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the taxable year are not exempt from this 30% withholding tax. Gains realized by foreign shareholders from the sale or other disposition of shares of a Fund generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless the recipient is an individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. Foreign shareholders who fail to provide an applicable IRS form may be subject to backup withholding on certain payments from a Fund. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that are subject to the 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) withholding tax described in this paragraph. Different tax consequences may result if the foreign shareholder is engaged in a trade or business within the United States. In addition, the tax consequences to a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty may be different than those described above.

 

Under legislation generally known as “FATCA” (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), the Funds are required to withhold 30% of certain ordinary dividends they pay to shareholders that fail to meet prescribed information reporting or certification requirements. In general, no such withholding will be required with respect to a U.S. person or non-U.S. individual that timely provides the certifications required by a Fund or its agent on a valid IRS Form W-9 or applicable IRS Form W-8, respectively. Shareholders potentially subject to withholding include foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”), such as non-U.S. investment funds, and non-financial foreign entities (“NFFEs”). To avoid withholding under FATCA, an FFI generally must enter into an information sharing agreement with the IRS in which it agrees to report certain identifying information (including name, address, and taxpayer identification number) with respect to its U.S. account holders (which, in the case of an entity shareholder, may include its direct and indirect U.S. owners), and an NFFE generally must identify and provide other required information to the Funds or other withholding agent regarding its U.S. owners, if any. Such non-U.S. shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted or deemed compliant categories as established by regulations and other guidance. A non-U.S. shareholder resident or doing business in a country that has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the U.S. to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement.

 

S-51

 

A non-U.S. entity that invests in a Fund will need to provide such Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding. Non-U.S. investors in the Funds should consult their tax advisors in this regard.

 

Tax Shelter Reporting Regulations. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, generally, if a shareholder recognizes a loss of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC such as a Fund are not excepted. Future guidance may extend the current exception from this reporting requirement to shareholders of most or all RICs. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

 

State Taxes. Depending upon state and local law, distributions by a Fund to its shareholders and the ownership of such shares may be subject to state and local taxes. Rules of state and local taxation of dividend and capital gains distributions from RICs often differ from the rules for federal income taxation described above. It is expected that a Fund will not be liable for any corporate excise, income or franchise tax in Massachusetts if it qualifies as a RIC for federal income tax purposes.

 

Many states grant tax-free status to dividends paid to you from interest earned on direct obligations of the U.S. government, subject in some states to minimum investment requirements that must be met by a Fund. Investment in Ginnie Mae or Fannie Mae securities, banker’s acceptances, commercial paper, and repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities do not generally qualify for such tax-free treatment. The rules on exclusion of this income are different for corporate shareholders.

 

Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding state and local taxes applicable to an investment in a Fund.

 

FUND TRANSACTIONS

 

Brokerage Transactions. Generally, equity securities, both listed and over-the-counter, are bought and sold through brokerage transactions for which commissions are payable. Purchases from underwriters will include the underwriting commission or concession, and purchases from dealers serving as market makers will include a dealer’s mark-up or reflect a dealer’s mark-down. Money market securities and other debt securities are usually bought and sold directly from the issuer or an underwriter or market maker for the securities. Generally, a Fund will not pay brokerage commissions for such purchases. When a debt security is bought from an underwriter, the purchase price will usually include an underwriting commission or concession. When a Fund executes transactions in the over-the-counter market, it will generally deal with primary market makers unless prices that are more favorable are otherwise obtainable. The purchase price for securities bought from dealers serving as market makers will similarly include the dealer’s mark up or reflect a dealer’s mark down.

 

In addition, the Adviser may place a combined order for two or more accounts it manages, including the Funds, engaged in the purchase or sale of the same security if, in its judgment, joint execution is in the best interest of each participant and will result in best price and execution. Transactions involving commingled orders are allocated in a manner deemed equitable to each account or fund. Although it is recognized that, in some cases, the joint execution of orders could adversely affect the price or volume of the security that a particular account or the Funds may obtain, it is the opinion of the Adviser that the advantages of combined orders outweigh the possible disadvantages of combined orders.

 

S-52

 

For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Funds paid the following aggregate brokerage commissions on portfolio transactions:

 

 

Fund

Aggregate Dollar Amount of Brokerage Commissions Paid
2016 2017 2018
LSV Value Equity Fund $158,077 $148,544 $280,456
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund $4,397 $7,433 $5,360
LSV Small Cap Value Fund $58,889 $82,165 $102,600
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund $4,833 $7,095 $669
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund $1,339 $2,304 $6,522
LSV Global Value Fund $468 $639 $5,699
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund N/A1 N/A1 N/A1

 

1 Not in operation during the period.

 

Brokerage Selection. The Trust does not expect to use one particular broker or dealer, and when one or more brokers is believed capable of providing the best combination of price and execution, the Adviser may select a broker based upon brokerage or research services provided to the Adviser. The Adviser may pay a higher commission than otherwise obtainable from other brokers in return for such services only if a good faith determination is made that the commission is reasonable in relation to the services provided.

 

Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits the Adviser, under certain circumstances, to cause each Fund to pay a broker or dealer a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by the broker or dealer. In addition to agency transactions, the Adviser may receive brokerage and research services in connection with certain riskless principal transactions, in accordance with applicable SEC guidance. Brokerage and research services include: (1) furnishing advice as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities; (2) furnishing analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy, and the performance of accounts; and (3) effecting securities transactions and performing functions incidental thereto (such as clearance, settlement, and custody). In the case of research services, the Adviser believes that access to independent investment research is beneficial to its investment decision-making processes and, therefore, to the Funds.

 

To the extent that research services may be a factor in selecting brokers, such services may be in written form or through direct contact with individuals and may include information as to particular companies and securities as well as market, economic, or institutional areas and information which assists in the valuation and pricing of investments. Examples of research-oriented services for which the Adviser might utilize Fund commissions include research reports and other information on the economy, industries, sectors, groups of securities, individual companies, statistical information, political developments, technical market action, pricing and appraisal services, credit analysis, risk measurement analysis, performance and other analysis. The Adviser may use research services furnished by brokers in servicing all client accounts and not all services may necessarily be used in connection with the account that paid commissions to the broker providing such services. Information so received by the Adviser will be in addition to and not in lieu of the services required to be performed by the Adviser under the Advisory Agreement. Any advisory or other fees paid to the Adviser are not reduced as a result of the receipt of research services.

 

In some cases the Adviser may receive a service from a broker that has both a “research” and a “non-research” use. When this occurs, the Adviser makes a good faith allocation, under all the circumstances, between the research and non-research uses of the service. The percentage of the service that is used for research purposes may be paid for with client commissions, while the Adviser will use its own funds to pay for the percentage of the service that is used for non-research purposes. In making this good faith allocation, the Adviser faces a potential conflict of interest, but the Adviser believes that its allocation procedures are reasonably designed to ensure that it appropriately allocates the anticipated use of such services to their research and non-research uses.

 

S-53

 

From time to time, the Adviser may purchase new issues of securities for clients, including the Funds, in a fixed price offering. In these situations, the seller may be a member of the selling group that will, in addition to selling securities, provide the Adviser with research services. FINRA has adopted rules expressly permitting these types of arrangements under certain circumstances. Generally, the seller will provide research “credits” in these situations at a rate that is higher than that which is available for typical secondary market transactions. These arrangements may not fall within the safe harbor of Section 28(e).

 

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, the Funds did not pay commissions on brokerage transactions directed to brokers pursuant to an agreement or understanding whereby the broker provides research services to the Adviser.

 

Brokerage with Fund Affiliates. The Funds may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealer affiliates of either the Funds or the Adviser for a commission in conformity with the 1940 Act and rules promulgated by the SEC. The 1940 Act requires that commissions paid to the affiliate by the Funds for exchange transactions not exceed “usual and customary” brokerage commissions. The rules define “usual and customary” commissions to include amounts which are “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.” The Trustees, including those who are not “interested persons” of the Funds, have adopted procedures for evaluating the reasonableness of commissions paid to affiliates and review these procedures periodically.

 

For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Funds did not pay brokerage commissions to affiliated brokers.

 

Securities of “Regular Broker-Dealers.” The Funds are required to identify any securities of their “regular brokers and dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) that the Funds held during their most recent fiscal year. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, the Funds held the following securities of their “regular brokers and dealers”:

 

Fund Name of Issuer Type of Security

Dollar Amount at

Fiscal Year End

(000)

LSV Value Equity Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $11,345
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $1,542
LSV Small Cap Value Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $9,118
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $307
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $27
LSV Global Value Fund Morgan Stanley Debt $33

 

Portfolio Turnover Rates. Portfolio turnover is calculated by dividing the lesser of total purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average value of portfolio securities owned during the fiscal year. Excluded from both the numerator and denominator are amounts relating to securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less. Instruments excluded from the calculation of portfolio turnover generally would include the futures contracts in which the Funds may invest since such contracts generally have remaining maturities of less than one year. The Funds may at times hold investments in other short-term instruments, such as repurchase agreements, which are excluded for purposes of computing portfolio turnover.

 

S-54

 

For the fiscal years ended October 31, 2017 and 2018, the portfolio turnover rates for each Fund were as follows:

 

 

Fund

Portfolio Turnover Rates
2017 2018
LSV Value Equity Fund 15% 14%
LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund 19% 17%
LSV Small Cap Value Fund 23% 31%
LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund 19% 28%
LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund 43% 23%
LSV Global Value Fund 15% 13%
LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund N/A1 N/A1

 

1 Not in operation during the period.

 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

The Board has approved policies and procedures that govern the timing and circumstances regarding the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio holdings information to shareholders and third parties. These policies and procedures are designed to ensure that disclosure of information regarding the Funds’ portfolio securities is in the best interests of each of the Fund’s shareholders, and include procedures to address conflicts between the interests of each Fund’s shareholders and those of the Funds’ Adviser, principal underwriter, or any affiliated person of the Funds, the Adviser, or the principal underwriter. Pursuant to such procedures, the Board has authorized the Adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer to authorize the release of the Funds’ portfolio holdings, as necessary, in conformity with the foregoing principles. The Adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer, either directly or through reports by the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, reports quarterly to the Board regarding the operation and administration of such policies and procedures.

 

Pursuant to applicable law, the Funds are required to disclose their complete portfolio holdings quarterly, within 60 days of the end of each fiscal quarter (currently, each January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31). Each Fund will disclose a complete or summary schedule of investments (which includes the Fund’s 50 largest holdings in unaffiliated issuers and each investment in unaffiliated issuers that exceeds one percent of the Fund’s net asset value (“Summary Schedule”)) in its Semi-Annual and Annual Reports which are distributed to the Fund’s shareholders. Each Fund’s complete schedule of investments following the first and third fiscal quarters will be available in quarterly holdings reports filed with the SEC on Form N-Q or as exhibits to Form N-PORT, and each Fund’s complete schedule of investments following the second and fourth fiscal quarters, will be available in shareholder reports filed with the SEC on Form N-CSR.

 

Complete schedules of investments filed with the SEC on Form N-Q, Form N-CSR, and as exhibits to Form N-PORT, are not distributed to each Fund’s shareholders but are available, free of charge, on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Should a Fund include only a Summary Schedule rather than a complete schedule of investments in its Semi-Annual and Annual Reports, its complete schedule of investments will be available without charge, upon request, by calling 1-888-FUND-LSV.

 

The Adviser’s website, at www.lsvasset.com, also provides information about the Funds’ complete portfolio holdings, including some or all of the following: security description, ticker, security identification number, price per share, par value, and interest rate updated as of the end of the most recent calendar quarter (i.e., each March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). This information on the website is provided within 15 business days at the end of each calendar quarter. The information on the Adviser’s website is publicly available to all categories of persons. The Adviser may exclude any portion of a Fund’s portfolio holdings from such publication when deemed in the best interest of the Fund.

 

S-55

 

In addition to information provided to shareholders and the general public, portfolio holdings information may be disclosed as frequently as daily to certain service providers, such as the Custodian, Administrator or Transfer Agent, in connection with their services to the Funds. From time to time rating and ranking organizations, such as S&P, Lipper and Morningstar, Inc., may request non-public portfolio holdings information in connection with rating the Funds. Similarly, institutional investors, financial planners, pension plan sponsors and/or their consultants or other third-parties may request portfolio holdings information in order to assess the risks of a Fund’s portfolio along with related performance attribution statistics.

 

The Funds’ policies and procedures provide that the Adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer may authorize disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information to such parties at differing times and/or with different lag times. Prior to making any disclosure to a third party, the Adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer must determine that such disclosure serves a reasonable business purpose, is in the best interests of the Funds’ shareholders and that conflicts between the interests of the Funds’ shareholders and those of the Funds’ Adviser, principal underwriter, or any affiliated person of the Funds are addressed. Portfolio holdings information may be disclosed no more frequently than monthly to ratings agencies, consultants and other qualified financial professionals or individuals.

 

The Adviser currently has arrangements to provide non-public portfolio holdings information to Marco Consulting Group. The Adviser reports the complete portfolio (including security name, ticker, CUSIP, number of shares, current market value and percentage of portfolio), as well as percentage weightings for the top ten holdings, on a monthly basis, with a three-day lag. The portfolio holdings are used to create 1) a quarterly profile to educate clients and 2) to conduct quarterly due diligence on the Funds. This information is considered confidential and will not be distributed to the public. The Funds believe these disclosures serve a legitimate business purpose. The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer will regularly review these arrangements and will make periodic reports to the Board regarding disclosure pursuant to such arrangements.

 

With the exception of disclosures to rating and ranking organizations as described above, the Funds require any third party receiving non-public holdings information to enter into a confidentiality agreement with the Adviser. The confidentiality agreement provides, among other things, that non-public portfolio holdings information will be kept confidential and that the recipient has a duty not to trade on the non-public information and will use such information solely to analyze and rank the Funds, or to perform due diligence and asset allocation, depending on the recipient of the information.

 

The Funds’ policies and procedures prohibit any compensation or other consideration from being paid to or received by any party in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information, including the Funds, the Adviser and its affiliates or recipients of the Funds’ portfolio holdings information.

 

The Adviser may manage other accounts that are not subject to these policies and procedures with investment objectives and strategies that are substantially similar to those of a Fund. Because the portfolio holdings of such accounts may be substantially similar, and in some cases nearly identical, to those of a Fund, an investor in such an account may be able to infer the portfolio holdings of a Fund from the portfolio holdings of the account.

 

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

 

The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of funds and shares of each fund, each of which represents an equal proportionate interest in that fund with each other share. Shares are entitled upon liquidation to a pro rata share in the net assets of the fund. Shareholders have no preemptive rights. The Declaration of Trust provides that the Trustees may create additional series or classes of shares. All consideration received by the Trust for shares of any additional funds and all assets in which such consideration is invested would belong to that fund and would be subject to the liabilities related thereto. Share certificates representing shares will not be issued. The Funds’ shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.

 

S-56

 

SHAREHOLDER LIABILITY

 

The Trust is an entity of the type commonly known as a “Massachusetts business trust.” Under Massachusetts law, shareholders of such a trust could, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for the obligations of the trust. Even if, however, the Trust were held to be a partnership, the possibility of the shareholders incurring financial loss for that reason appears remote because the Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for obligations of the Trust and requires that notice of such disclaimer be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by or on behalf of the Trust or the Trustees, and because the Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification out of the Trust property for any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust.

 

LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES’ LIABILITY

 

The Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee shall be liable only for his or her own willful defaults and, if reasonable care has been exercised in the selection of officers, agents, employees or investment advisers, shall not be liable for any neglect or wrongdoing of any such person. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust will indemnify its Trustees and officers against liabilities and expenses incurred in connection with actual or threatened litigation in which they may be involved because of their offices with the Trust unless it is determined in the manner provided in the Declaration of Trust that they have not acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that their actions were in the best interests of the Trust. However, nothing in the Declaration of Trust shall protect or indemnify a Trustee against any liability for his or her willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of his or her duties. Nothing contained in this section attempts to disclaim a Trustee’s individual liability in any manner inconsistent with the federal securities laws.

 

PROXY VOTING

 

The Board has delegated responsibility for decisions regarding proxy voting for securities held by the Funds to the Adviser. The Adviser will vote such proxies in accordance with its proxy policies and procedures, which are included in Appendix B to this SAI.

 

The Trust is required to disclose annually the Funds’ complete proxy voting record during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 on Form N-PX. This voting record is available: (i) without charge, upon request, by calling 1-888-FUND-LSV and (ii) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

 

CODES OF ETHICS

 

The Board, on behalf of the Trust, has adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act. In addition, the Adviser, the Distributor and the Administrator have adopted Codes of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1. These Codes of Ethics apply to the personal investing activities of trustees, officers and certain employees (“Access Persons”). Rule 17j-1 and the Codes of Ethics are designed to prevent unlawful practices in connection with the purchase or sale of securities by Access Persons. Under each Code of Ethics, Access Persons are permitted to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by a Fund, but are required to report their personal securities transactions for monitoring purposes. In addition, certain Access Persons are required to obtain approval before investing in initial public offerings or private placements or are prohibited from making such investments. Copies of these Codes of Ethics are on file with the SEC, and are available to the public.

 

S-57

 

PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS AND CONTROL PERSONS

 

As of February 4, 2019, the following persons were record owners (or to the knowledge of the Trust, beneficial owners) of 5% or more of any class of the shares of the Funds. The Trust believes that most of the shares referred to below were held by the persons listed below in accounts for their fiduciary, agency or custodial customers. Persons beneficially owning more than 25% of a Fund’s outstanding shares may be deemed to “control” the Fund within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Shareholders controlling a Fund may have a significant impact on any shareholder vote of the Fund.

 

LSV Value Equity Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Institutional Class Shares 13.36%

EDWARD D JONES & CO

FOR THE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS

12555 MANCHESTER RD

SAINT LOUIS MO 63131-3729

Institutional Class Shares 12.36%

PERSHING LLC

1 PERSHING PLAZA

JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-0002

Institutional Class Shares 10.83%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC REINVEST

ACCOUNT

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Institutional Class Shares 10.83%

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE

EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS OF

UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC

ATTN DEPARTMENT MANAGER

1000 HARBOR BLVD

WEEHAWKEN NJ 07086-6761

Institutional Class Shares 8.08%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Investor Class Shares 98.20%

 

S-58

 

LSV Conservative Value Equity Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

PRUDENTIAL BANK & TRUST

80 LIVINGSTON AVE

ROSELAND NJ 07068-1753

Institutional Class Shares 83.58%

WELLS FARGO BANK NA FBO

APTAR GROUP INC

PO BOX 1533

MINNEAPOLIS MN 55480-1533

Institutional Class Shares 10.54%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 34.97%

TD AMERITRADE FBO

BRIAN L KOHR

9451 RIDING BLVD

DAYTON OH 45458-9732

Investor Class Shares 27.11%

TD AMERITRADE FBO

MICHAEL JOLLY IRA

TD AMERITRADE CLEARING CUSTODIAN

4615 WINDSOR RD

WINDSOR WI 53598-9774

Investor Class Shares 10.34%

KEVIN THOMAS PHELAN

SUBJECT TO DST TOD RULES

336 E 1ST ST

HINSDALE IL 60521-4205

Investor Class Shares 5.09%

 

S-59

 

LSV Small Cap Value Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY A/C FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Institutional Class Shares 26.81%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Institutional Class Shares 24.64%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY A/C

FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Institutional Class Shares 14.25%

CAPINCO C/O US BANK NA

1555 N RIVERCENTER DR STE 302

MILWAUKEE WI 53212-3958

Institutional Class Shares 9.40%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Investor Class Shares 45.41%

VANTAGETRUST - UNITIZED

C/O ICMA RETIREMENT CORPORATION

777 NORTH CAPITOL STREET, NE

WASHINGTON DC 20002-4239

Investor Class Shares 44.57%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 7.05%

 

S-60

 

LSV U.S. Managed Volatility Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

AMALGAMATED BANK OF CHICAGO

FBO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS PENSION

TRUST FUND-LAKE COUNTY & VICINITY

30 N LA SALLE ST

ATTN TRUST OPERATIONS 38TH FL

CHICAGO IL 60602-2590

Institutional Class Shares 29.44%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Institutional Class Shares 26.62%

BANK OF AMERICA CUSTODIAN

FBO MFO

PO BOX 843869

DALLAS TX 75284-1575

Institutional Class Shares 13.20%

WELLS FARGO BANK NA FBO

BERKSHIRE HEALTH-LSV

PO BOX 1533

MINNEAPOLIS MN 55480-1533

Institutional Class Shares 11.81%

MAC & CO

ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPS

500 GRANT STREET

ROOM 151-1010

PITTSBURGH PA 15219-2502

Institutional Class Shares 5.57%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Investor Class Shares 89.61%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 7.43%

 

S-61

 

LSV Global Managed Volatility Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Institutional Class Shares 63.41%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY A/C FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Institutional Class Shares 19.17%

IBJ INVESTMENTS LLC

1943 N BURLING ST

CHICAGO IL 60614-5123

Institutional Class Shares 10.32%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Investor Class Shares 68.53%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 12.95%

LESLIE M KONDZIELA TR

U/A 10/20/2007

LESLIE KONDZIELA REVOCABLE TRUST

1421 W ROSCOE ST APT 3E

CHICAGO IL 60657-7379

Investor Class Shares 8.84%

 

S-62

 

LSV Global Value Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

IBJ INVESTMENTS LLC

1943 N BURLING ST

CHICAGO IL 60614-5123

Institutional Class Shares 38.91%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Institutional Class Shares 31.77%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Institutional Class Shares 17.66%

TD AMERITRADE INC FBO

OUR CUSTOMERS

PO BOX 2226

OMAHA NE 68103-2226

Institutional Class Shares 11.66%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY ACT FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 42.31%

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC

FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR

CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

DEPARTMENT 4TH FL

499 WASHINGTON BLVD

JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

Investor Class Shares 40.53%

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC

SPECIAL CUSTODY A/C

FBO CUSTOMERS

ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS

211 MAIN ST

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

Investor Class Shares 8.58%

JP MORGAN SECURITIES LLC OMNIBUS

ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT

OF CUSTOMERS

4 CHASE METROTECH CTR FL 3RD

MUTUAL FUND DEPARTMENT

BROOKLYN NY 11245-0003

Investor Class Shares 5.86%

 

LSV Emerging Markets Equity Fund
Name and Address Class of Shares % of Class

IBJ INVESTMENTS LLC

1943 N BURLING ST

CHICAGO IL 60614-5123

Institutional Class Shares 49.50%

MENNO VERMEULEN

155 NORTH WACKER DRIVE

SUITE 4600, CHICAGO IL 60606

Institutional Class Shares 19.80%

JAMES W OWENS JR TR

U/A 12/13/2010

JAMES W OWENS REV TRUST

497 S ARLINGTON AVE

ELMHURST IL 60126-3918

Institutional Class Shares 9.90%

SEI INVESTMENTS CO

1 FREEDOM VALLEY DR

OAKS PA 19456-9989

Investor Class Shares 100.00%

 

S-63

 

APPENDIX A

 

DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS

 

Description of Ratings

 

The following descriptions of securities ratings have been published by Moody’s Investors Services, Inc. (“Moody’s”), Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), and Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”), respectively.

 

Description of Moody’s Global Ratings

 

Ratings assigned on Moody’s global long-term and short-term rating scales are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issued by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities. Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default. Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.

 

Description of Moody’s Global Long-Term Ratings

 

Aaa Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hybrid Indicator (hyb)

 

The hybrid indicator (hyb) is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms. By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.

 

A-1

 

Description of Moody’s Global Short-Term Ratings

 

P-1 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

 

P-2 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

 

P-3 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

 

NP Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

 

Description of Moody’s U.S. Municipal Short-Term Obligation Ratings

 

The Municipal Investment Grade (“MIG”) scale is used to rate U.S. municipal bond anticipation notes of up to three years maturity. Municipal notes rated on the MIG scale may be secured by either pledged revenues or proceeds of a take-out financing received prior to note maturity. MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation, and the issuer’s long-term rating is only one consideration in assigning the MIG rating. MIG ratings are divided into three levels-MIG 1 through MIG 3-while speculative grade short-term obligations are designated SG.

 

Moody’s U.S. municipal short-term obligation ratings are as follows:

 

MIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.

 

MIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.

 

MIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.

 

SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.

 

Description of Moody’s Demand Obligation Ratings

 

In the case of variable rate demand obligations (“VRDOs”), a two-component rating is assigned: a long or short-term debt rating and a demand obligation rating. The first element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with scheduled principal and interest payments. The second element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with the ability to receive purchase price upon demand (“demand feature”). The second element uses a rating from a variation of the MIG scale called the Variable Municipal Investment Grade (“VMIG”) scale.

 

Moody’s demand obligation ratings are as follows:

 

VMIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

A-2

 

VMIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

VMIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

Description of S&P’s Issue Credit Ratings

 

An S&P issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation, a specific class of financial obligations, or a specific financial program (including ratings on medium-term note programs and commercial paper programs). It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the obligation and takes into account the currency in which the obligation is denominated. The opinion reflects S&P’s view of the obligor’s capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as they come due, and this opinion may assess terms, such as collateral security and subordination, which could affect ultimate payment in the event of default.

 

Issue credit ratings can be either long-term or short-term. Short-term ratings are generally assigned to those obligations considered short-term in the relevant market. Short-term ratings are also used to indicate the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to put features on long-term obligations. Medium-term notes are assigned long-term ratings.

 

Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P’s analysis of the following considerations:

 

The likelihood of payment-the capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitments on a financial obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;

 

The nature of and provisions of the financial obligation; and the promise S&P imputes; and

 

The protection afforded by, and relative position of, the financial obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.

 

An issue rating is an assessment of default risk but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)

 

NR indicates that a rating has not been assigned or is no longer assigned.

 

Description of S&P’s Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings*

 

AAA An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by S&P. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.

 

A-3

 

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

 

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

 

BBB An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CC An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The ‘CC’ rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.

 

C An obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.

 

D An obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

 

* Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the rating categories.

 

Description of S&P’s Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings

 

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

 

A-4

 

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

 

A-3 A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

B A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.

 

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

 

D A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

 

Description of S&P’s Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings

 

An S&P U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P’s opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P’s analysis will review the following considerations:

 

Amortization schedule-the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and

 

Source of payment-the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.

 

S&P’s municipal short-term note ratings are as follows:

 

SP-1 Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.

 

SP-2 Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.

 

SP-3 Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.

 

D ‘D’ is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions.

 

A-5

 

Description of Fitch’s Credit Ratings

 

Fitch’s credit ratings relating to issuers are an opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments, such as interest, preferred dividends, repayment of principal, insurance claims or counterparty obligations. Credit ratings relating to securities and obligations of an issuer can include a recovery expectation. Credit ratings are used by investors as indications of the likelihood of receiving the money owed to them in accordance with the terms on which they invested.

 

The terms “investment grade” and “speculative grade” have established themselves over time as shorthand to describe the categories ‘AAA’ to ‘BBB’ (investment grade) and ‘BB’ to ‘D’ (speculative grade). The terms investment grade and speculative grade are market conventions, and do not imply any recommendation or endorsement of a specific security for investment purposes. Investment grade categories indicate relatively low to moderate credit risk, while ratings in the speculative categories either signal a higher level of credit risk or that a default has already occurred.

 

Fitch’s credit ratings do not directly address any risk other than credit risk. In particular, ratings do not deal with the risk of a market value loss on a rated security due to changes in interest rates, liquidity and other market considerations. However, in terms of payment obligation on the rated liability, market risk may be considered to the extent that it influences the ability of an issuer to pay upon a commitment. Ratings nonetheless do not reflect market risk to the extent that they influence the size or other conditionality of the obligation to pay upon a commitment (for example, in the case of index-linked bonds).

 

In the default components of ratings assigned to individual obligations or instruments, the agency typically rates to the likelihood of non-payment or default in accordance with the terms of that instrument’s documentation. In limited cases, Fitch may include additional considerations (i.e. rate to a higher or lower standard than that implied in the obligation’s documentation).

 

For the convenience of investors, Fitch may also include issues relating to a rated issuer that are not and have not been rated on its webpage. Such issues are denoted ‘NR.’

 

Note: The modifiers “+” or “-” may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA’ ratings and ratings below the ‘CCC’ category. For the short-term rating category of ‘F1’, a ‘+’ may be appended.

 

Description of Fitch’s Long-Term Corporate Finance Obligations Ratings

 

AAA Highest credit quality. ‘AAA’ ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.

 

AA Very high credit quality. ‘AA’ ratings denote expectations of very low credit risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.

 

A High credit quality. ‘A’ ratings denote expectations of low credit risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.

 

BBB Good credit quality. ‘BBB’ ratings indicate that expectations of credit risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.

 

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BB Speculative. ‘BB’ ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to credit risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial alternatives may be available to allow financial commitments to be met.

 

B Highly speculative. ‘B’ ratings indicate that material credit risk is present.

 

CCC Substantial credit risk. ‘CCC’ ratings indicate that substantial credit risk is present.

 

CC Very high levels of credit risk. ‘CC’ ratings indicate very high levels of credit risk.

 

C Exceptionally high levels of credit risk. ‘C’ ratings indicate exceptionally high levels of credit risk.

 

Ratings in the categories of ‘CCC’, ‘CC’ and ‘C’ can also relate to obligations or issuers that are in default. In this case, the rating does not opine on default risk but reflects the recovery expectation only.

 

Defaulted obligations typically are not assigned ‘RD’ or ‘D’ ratings, but are instead rated in the ‘CCC’ to ‘C’ rating categories, depending on their recovery prospects and other relevant characteristics. This approach better aligns obligations that have comparable overall expected loss but varying vulnerability to default and loss.

 

Description of Fitch’s Short-Term Ratings

 

A short-term issuer or obligation rating is based in all cases on the short-term vulnerability to default of the rated entity and relates to the capacity to meet financial obligations in accordance with the documentation governing the relevant obligation. Short-term deposit ratings may be adjusted for loss severity. Short-Term Ratings are assigned to obligations whose initial maturity is viewed as “short term” based on market convention. Typically, this means up to 13 months for corporate, sovereign, and structured obligations, and up to 36 months for obligations in U.S. public finance markets.

 

Fitch’s short-term ratings are as follows:

 

F1 Highest short-term credit quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.

 

F2 Good short-term credit quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

 

F3 Fair short-term credit quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.

 

B Speculative short-term credit quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.

 

C High short-term default risk. Default is a real possibility.

 

RD Restricted default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.

 

D Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.

 

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APPENDIX B – PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

LSV ASSET MANAGEMENT

 

PROXY VOTING POLICY

 

LSV’s standard investment management agreement expressly authorizes LSV to vote proxies on behalf of the client’s account. Therefore, unless the client expressly reserves proxy voting responsibility, it is LSV’s responsibility to vote proxies relating to securities held for the client’s account.

 

ERISA Clients

 

With respect to ERISA plan clients, unless proxy voting responsibility has been expressly reserved, LSV, as the investment adviser for the account, must, subject to this policy, seek to vote all proxies relating to securities held for the plan’s account. If LSV is responsible for voting, LSV shall make appropriate arrangements with each account custodian to have proxies forwarded on a timely basis to the appropriate person, and shall endeavor to correct delays or other problems relating to timely delivery of proxies and proxy materials. Fiduciary obligations of prudence and loyalty require an investment adviser with proxy voting responsibility to vote proxies on issues that affect the value of the client’s investment. Proxy voting decisions must be made solely in the best interests of the client’s account. In voting proxies, LSV is required to consider those factors that may affect the value of the client’s investment and may not subordinate the interests of the client to unrelated objectives.

 

General Policies

 

LSV has adopted proxy voting guidelines that provide direction in determining how various types of proxy issues are to be voted. LSV has engaged an expert independent third party to design guidelines for client accounts that are updated for current corporate governance issues, helping to ensure that clients’ best interests are served by voting decisions. Clients are sent a copy of their respective guidelines on an annual basis.

 

LSV’s quantitative investment process does not provide output or analysis that would be functional in analyzing proxy issues. LSV, therefore, has retained an expert independent third party to assist in proxy voting, currently Glass Lewis & Co. (“GLC”). GLC implements LSV’s proxy voting process, provides assistance in developing guidelines and provides analysis of proxy issues on a case-by-case basis. LSV is responsible for monitoring GLC to seek to ensure that proxies are appropriately voted. LSV will vote issues contrary to, or issues not covered by, the guidelines only when LSV believes it is in the best interest of the client. Where the client has provided proxy voting guidelines to LSV, those guidelines will be followed. In certain circumstances, clients are permitted to direct their vote in a particular solicitation. Direction from a client on a particular proxy vote will take precedence over the guidelines. LSV’s use of GLC is not a delegation of LSV’s fiduciary obligation to vote proxies for clients.

 

Should a material conflict arise between LSV’s interest and that of its clients, LSV will vote the proxies in accordance with the recommendation of the independent third party proxy voting service. A written record will be maintained describing the conflict of interest, and an explanation of how the vote made was in the client’s best interest.

 

LSV may be unable or may choose not to vote proxies in certain situations. For example, LSV may refrain from voting a proxy if (i) the cost of voting the proxy exceeds the expected benefit to the client, (ii) LSV is not given enough time to process the vote, (iii) voting the proxy requires the security to be “blocked” or frozen from trading or (iv) it is otherwise impractical or impossible to vote the proxy, such as in the case of voting a foreign security that must be cast in person.

 

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Clients may receive a copy of this proxy voting policy and LSV’s voting record for their account by request. LSV will additionally provide any mutual fund for which LSV acts as adviser or sub-adviser, a copy of LSV’s voting record for the fund so that the fund may fulfill its obligation to report proxy votes to fund shareholders.

 

Recordkeeping.

 

LSV will retain:

 

(i) Copies of its proxy voting policies and procedures.

 

(ii) A copy of each proxy statement received regarding client securities (maintained by the proxy voting service and/or available on EDGAR).

 

(iii) A record of each vote cast on behalf of a client (maintained by the proxy voting service).

 

(iv) A copy of any document created that was material to the voting decision or that memorializes the basis for that decision (maintained by the proxy voting service).

 

(v) A copy of clients’ written requests for proxy voting information and a copy of LSV’s written response to a client’s request for proxy voting information for the client’s account.

 

(vi) LSV will ensure that it may obtain access to the proxy voting service’s records promptly upon LSV’s request.

 

The above listed information is intended to, among other things, enable clients to review LSV’s proxy voting procedures and actions taken in individual proxy voting situations.

 

LSV will maintain required materials in an easily accessible place for not less than five years from the end of the fiscal year during which the last entry took place, the first two years in LSV’s principal office.

 

Consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance Factors

 

LSV became a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in April 2014. GLC is also a signatory to the PRI. The PRI provides a framework, through its six principles, for consideration of environmental, social and governance ("ESG") factors in portfolio management and investment decision-making. The six principles ask an investment manager, to the extent consistent with its fiduciary duties, to seek to: (1) incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes; (2) be an active owner and incorporate ESG issues into its ownership policies and practices; (3) obtain appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which it invests; (4) promote acceptance and implementation of the PRI principles within the investment industry; (5) work to enhance its effectiveness in implementing the PRI principles; and (6) report on its activities and progress toward implementing the PRI principles.

 

For clients where LSV has proxy voting authority, certain ESG factors are built into our standard proxy voting guidelines. For example, GLC views the identification, mitigation and management of environmental and social risks as integral components when evaluating a company’s overall risk exposure. In cases where the board or management has failed to sufficiently identify and manage a material environmental or social risk that did or could negatively impact shareholder value, GLC will recommend shareholders vote against directors responsible for risk oversight in consideration of the nature of the risk and the potential effect on shareholder value. In addition, GLC generally recommends supporting shareholder proposals likely to increase and/or protect shareholder value and also those that promote the furtherance of shareholder rights. In evaluating shareholder resolutions regarding environmental and social issues, GLC examines: (1) direct environmental and social risk, (2) risk due to legislation and regulation, (3) legal and reputational risk, and (4) governance risk. Finally, through GLC, LSV is able to offer additional guidelines that provide another level of analysis for clients seeking to vote consistent with widely-accepted enhanced ESG practices. These ESG-specific guidelines are available to clients with a focus on disclosing and mitigating company risk with regard to ESG issues.

 

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